Road to Riches- The Incredible Success Story of Zara Founder- Amancio Ortega
Amancio Ortega Gaona, Zara Owner, is a billionaire businessman from Spain. He founded and served as the first chairman of the Inditex fashion conglomerate, which is best known for its chain of Zara and Bershka apparel and accessory stores. The 18th wealthiest person in the world as of November 2022, Ortega had a net worth of $62.9 billion (Rs. 5.2 lakh crore), placing him third in Europe behind Francoise Bettencourt Meyers and Bernard Arnault.
He briefly surpassed Bill Gates as the richest person in the world in 2015 when, at the same time that Zara’s parent company, Inditex, stock reached an all-time high, his net worth reached a peak of $80 billion. Despite being the third-richest person in the world, Amancio Ortega shies away from the spotlight. He is a self-made man who entered the fashion industry in 1975 with the introduction of the clothing line Zara. Currently, there are 6,200 Zara stores distributed throughout 70 nations.
Amancio Ortega Education and Early Life
Ortega Amancio Gaona was born on March 28, 1936, in Leon, Spain, and is best known as Amancio Ortega. His mother supported the family by working as a maid while his father supported the family by working on the railroad. In La Coruna, Galicia, the hub of the Iberian textile industry, Ortega started working as a delivery boy for a shirt manufacturer at the age of 13. He left school at the age of 14.
He observed how goods and expenses changed as they moved from the producer to the consumer while working for various retailers and tailors. As a result, he started to emphasise how crucial it is to provide goods directly to customers. Ortega never went to college and worked in the textile industry until the early 1960s. He grew even more eager to make high-quality clothing available to everyone after learning that only wealthy people could afford to buy it after taking over management of a neighbourhood clothing store.
As a result, Ortega began producing his own goods, buying more affordable fabric from Barcelona, and selling high-quality, lower-priced goods to nearby shops. Amancio Ortega started his own business, Confecciones Goa, which produced and sold luxurious bathrobes, in 1963 when he was just 27 years old.
As Ortega proceeded to expand his business, he built his first Zara-branded retail location in 1975. It was across the street from one of La Coruna’s most well-known department stores, and Zara sprang to fame for offering affordable, high-end designer goods. Due to this success, Ortega kept opening stores and was praised for picking the ideal locations for each one. Amancio Ortega Gaona effectively ran around 100 Zara stores in Spain by 1989.
In 1985, Ortega established Inditex as the holding company for the Zara brand as well as numerous smaller chains in response to the brand’s enormous success and rising popularity. One of the biggest textile corporations in the world is now Inditex. Ortega maintained his brand’s simplicity and directness. In only a few short weeks, he aimed to get concepts from the runway to the average consumer.
In order to reduce inventory and transportation expenses, Ortega wants stores to be restocked more frequently and in smaller amounts. Ortega was able to maintain jobs in his native nation, continue to cut transportation costs, and pass the savings on to the customer since he kept his factories in Spain and produced fewer garments. Zara gained so much popularity that Amancio Ortega hardly ever needed to advertise the brand.
When Inditex Group went public in 2001, Ortega immediately rose to the position of one of the richest individuals in the world since he owned more than 59% of the company’s shares. But he nevertheless maintains a low profile, so low that very few people have ever seen a picture of him. Amancio Ortega rarely attends public events and never gives interviews. The Zara net worth is over 13 billion dollars in 2022. However, the brand was valued at over 18.4 billion dollars in 2019.
Personal Life and Lifestyle
Amancio Ortega’s wife was Rosala Mera Goyenechea. He wed Rosala Mera in 1966, and the two eventually divorced in 1986. They had two children together, Marcos and Sandra Ortega Mera. In August 2013, Mera passed away at the age of 69. He wed Flora Pérez Marcote, his second wife, in 2001. They had a daughter, Marta Ortega Pérez, in 1984. Despite having a sizable real estate holdings as of 2017, he still spends the majority of his time with his wife in their residence in A Coruna, Spain.
As of 2012, Ortega had only granted three interviews to the media, demonstrating how secretive he is about his personal life. Ortega is a very private person who keeps to himself. No image of Ortega had ever been released before 1999. He likes to wear a simple uniform of a blue blazer, a white shirt, and grey slacks, none of which are from Zara. He dislikes wearing ties and prefers to dress simply.
Also, he dines in the business cafeteria with his co-workers throughout his working hours. He is reportedly a man of routine and goes to the same coffee shop every day. He frequently travels in a black Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W221) and a black Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, according to eyewitnesses. Along with the private Gulfstream G650 and Bombardier Global Express aircraft, he also owns the yachts “Drizzle” and “Valoria B.”
Ortega enjoys riding horses in his spare time, when he is not working or helping Zara succeed. In Finisterre, Spain’s Galicia region, he runs his own equestrian facility. The tallest skyscraper in Spain is proudly owned by him as well. Ortega spent $536 million buying the Madrid-based Torre Picasso. Additionally, Bombardier-designed private aircraft belong to Ortega. The scheme reportedly cost $45 million.
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