The Indian economy has been growing very rapidly in the last decade or so and it has had a very positive impact on the country’s automobile market. The luxury car makers looking for growth are also heading for India. The high tax regime still works as a barrier but the aspirational buyers and growing number of affluent customers attracts the luxury car makers. A story carried by a local news paper claims that a barber in Bangalore called Ramesh Babu has over the years, acquired 68 cars including luxury cars like Rolls Royce, Mercedez and BMW.
It is a typical rags to riches story that might even be made into a movie. Ramesh lost his father when he was very young. He couldn’t continue with his education and had to drop out of school to take up full time job as a barber to support his family. His business grew quickly and over time he acquired a very prominent and prestigious client list. Though he charges only $2 for a haircut his clients now include policemen, prominent politicians and popular film stars.
It was way back in 1994 that Ramesh bought his first car. It was not a luxury car but a minivan. He rented the van out which opened a new stream of revenue for him and encouraged him to go for more cars and create a fleet. Today he has a fleet of 50 Toyota vans that he rents out on a regular basis. He has added luxury cars to his fleet also and rents them out also. He rents his Rolls Royce Ghost for as much as $1,000 a day.