With only a handful of competitors vying for its burgeoning middle class roughly the size of the entire U.S. population, India could represent one of the most lucrative international markets in the world, according to U.S. fund executives.

Currently there are only 34 mutual fund companies competing for India's investors, according to the Association of Mutual Funds in India, an industry trade group based in Mumbai, India. But fund companies cannot expect to capture even a tiny portion of the market without a significant investment of time, money and resources, executives said.

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