An ad by an Indian billionaire seeking a staff of 12 for his college-going daughter has generated a lot of conversation. The advertisement includes a requirement of a lady’s maid, butler, a private chef, a housekeeper, a chauffeur, a gardener and three footmen among others. The Sun reports that the billionaire has also bought a mansion for his daughter near the University of St Andrews, where she is to start a four-year course.

The responsibilities stated for the lady’s maid include, “waking principal up, liaising with other staff regarding routine and schedule, assisting with grooming, wardrobe management and personal shopping.” Oh, and she must have “an outgoing, cheerful and energetic personality.” And the cost this billionaire is willing to pay for the services of an experienced staff? £30,000 a year, which is equal to roughly 28 lakh rupees.

For many who have toiled away four golden years of their youth in decrepit hostel rooms, eating watery dal and burnt rotis, this sounds surreal.

Is it the display of wealth that bothers us? Or is the disappointment at our own failure to achieve this level of wealth?

College life is a period which most people will identify with thick friendships, runny vegetable curry in a mess and loads of cutting chai with glucose biscuits. It is a phase when you learn to manage money, live alone and become self-dependent. The fretting over every hundred bucks you loaned to your friends, the exasperation when have to tidy your bed after a hard day in college.


  • An Indian billionaire has placed a want for a staff of 12, to aid his daughter during her four-year course at the University of St Andrews.
  • Many people are finding this expenditure very extravagant for a college kid.  
  • But for all of us, what we spend depends on how much money we have. Then who is to say what counts as a luxury and what as a necessity?

The joy of sharing goodies sent by mum and cooking Maggie in an electric kettle is what makes college life as a hostler special for regular people.

Which is why people are fussing so much over this ad. In a country where not having to sweep the floor is a luxury, how does one grasp a rich girl’s need for a lady’s maid and personal chef? How does one not question the wealth of this billionaire who buys mansions at a snap of his fingers? How do we not criticise this excessive lifestyle and completely turn a blind eye to the small luxuries that we allow ourselves, which poor people can’t even dream of?

The girl and her parents made a choice they could afford, it is as simple as that. This display of wealth bothers us, but you have to accept that twelve people got decent employment due to one rich girl’s “entitlement”. We simply find it ostentatious because wealth for us comes with a responsible use. The middle-class people don’t understand that they have, hence they spend.

I am not defending this excessive lifestyle, nor do I want to criticise it. Like most common people I merely feel fascinated by it. Money can buy you everything from a vada pav to fill your stomach to an iPhone to show off, and also a mansion and a fleet of attenders. What one chooses to do only depends on how much one has, to spend. But then who gets to decide what is excess and what is not?

Picture Credit : Money Alpha

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 Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own

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