I am not having you on. Amancio Ortega is now the second richest man in the world – overtaking Warren Buffet. Yet most people have never even heard of him.
The 79 year old Spaniard values his privacy above all else and gives few interviews to the press. According to recent figures published by Bloomberg his net worth is $71.5 billion compared to Buffett’s $70.2 billion – leaving Ortega second only to Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who had $85.5 billion as of June 2nd.
Ortega’s, spain based company Inditex SA, operates more than 6,600 stores across the globe under brands that include Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear – and are the world’s largest clothing retailer. Analysts explained Ortega’s success is down to his relatively unique business model. By keeping some production facilities close to the headquarters in Spain and distributing to stores twice a week, Inditex are able to respond more quickly to shifts in fashion trends than competitors that concentrated production in China to cut costs.
Ortega started Zara in 1975, making lingerie and bathrobes with his former wife in their living room and is now the second richest man in the world. His success demonstrates the world’s desire for low-priced clothes. Just think of the margins on a £20 Zara t-shirt or crop top and how many of those you would need to sell to rival Ortega’s net worth. Incredible isn’t it?
Amancio Ortega a football fan, also holds a stake in Deportivo De La Coruña. He has three children, and rumour has it his youngest daughter Marta Ortega Pérez is being groomed by her father to one day take over the international fashion company. Marta started at the bottom where she stocked shelves and dealt with customers. She is married to Spain’s top-ranking showjumper, Sergio Álvarez Moya. Unlucky lads.