Indian schools and colleges teach their students the Indian numbering system which uses lakhs and crores to denote higher numbers. This system is widely used in India across all industries. For instance, our salary packages our defined in lakhs per annum while companies report their financial statements in crores. This system is so common in India that we even define the financial status of an individual based on it like “he’s a lakhpati” or even make prime time TV shows based on it like “Kaun Banega Crorepati”.
But when we grow up and start reading about global events (especially in business), we come across the international number system which uses millions, billions and trillions. This creates confusion as we are not accustomed to this system. Add to this the currency exchange rates of countries like the US and UK and the confusion builds up further.
The Indian Numbering System
Let’s not go into much detail here as we already know this system very well. Who doesn’t know counting from right to left as tens, hundreds, thousands, as so on.
Trick: Increase the 0’s by two counts.
|Amount||Indian System||Quick Notes|
|1,00,000||1 Lakh||1 + 5 zeroes|
|1,00,00,000||1 Crore||1 + 7 zeroes|
|1,00,00,00,000||1 Arab||1 + 9 zeroes|
The International Numbering System
This is the system followed by most western countries like USA, UK, etc. In this system, everything below one million is counted in thousands. Eg: 100,000 = one hundred thousand (one lakh).
Trick: Increase the 0’s by three counts.
|Amount||Int’l System||Quick Notes|
|1,000,000||1 Million||1 + 6 zeroes|
|1,000,000,000||1 Billion||1 + 9 zeroes|
|1,000,000,000,000||1 Trillion||1 + 12 zeroes|
Indian vs International
In most cases, we need to convert from the international system to the Indian system. Refer the table below to quickly convert from millions and billions to lakhs and crores.
|Amount||Int’l System||Indian Sytem|
|1,000,000||1 Million||10 Lakhs|
|1,000,000,000||1 Billion||100 Crores|
|1,000,000,000,000||1 Trillion||1 Lakh Crores|
USD ($) vs INR (₹)
Adding the currency exchange rate makes the conversion a bit more complex but with practice this can be done quickly. Refer the table below for a quick conversion between USD to INR at ₹70 rate.
|Amount||USD ($)||INR (₹)|
|1,000,000||1 Million||7 Crores|
|1,000,000,000||1 Billion||7000 Crores|
|1,000,000,000,000||1 Trillion||70 Lakh Crores|
So the next time you come across a news article or a financial statement that reads in millions and billions, just refer the tables above to quickly convert it to your understanding. The most important trick is to remember the 0’s in each system and then convert accordingly.
I hope I was able to explain the details of this topic in a simple way. If you still have any queries or feedback, write to me at email@example.com
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