"The two groups that make up the middle class are the seekers, earning between 200,000 and 500,000 rupees ($4,376- $10,941), and strivers, with incomes of between 500,000 and 1 million rupees ($10,941-$21,882). While their incomes would place them below the poverty line in the United States, things are much cheaper in India. When the local cost of living is taken into account, the income of the seekers and strivers looks more like $23,000 to $118,000, which is middle class by most developed-country standards. Seekers range from young college graduates to mid-level government officials, traders and business people. They enjoy a lifestyle that most of the world would recognize as middle class and typically own a television, a refrigerator, a mobile phone and perhaps even a scooter or a car. Although their budgets are stretched, they scrimp and save for their children's education and their own retirement.

Strivers, the upper end of the middle class, tend to be senior government officials, managers of large businesses, professionals and rich farmers. Successful and upwardly mobile, they are highly brand-conscious, buying the latest foreign-made cars and electronic gadgets. They are likely to have air conditioning, and can indulge in an annual vacation, usually somewhere in India."

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