Amancio Ortega is the co-Founder of Zara, the greatest textile fashion industry. He is a Spanish businessman and a philanthropist.
Born in a humble background in Spain. His father, Antonio Ortega, was a railway worker, while his mother, Josefa Gaona Hernando, was a housemaid. They used to struggle to earn a living.
Amancio Ortega drops school at 14
Ortega dropped out of school at 14. This was after his father moved to Coruna for a railway shift job. His mother was once ashamed by the shopkeeper because she had less money to buy food. This is what has driven the man to the greatest heights he is now. Read more about billionaires who dropped out of school here.
Immediately after leaving school, he secured a job at a shirtmaker shop. That’s where he learned the art of cloth-making from scratch. At that time, the technology was still down; hence most of the fashions were made from the ground.
He started a Confeccones Goa startup that dealt with bathrobes. He employed thousands of women who had sewing experience. They formed various groups, which turned out to be co-operatives. At that moment, the business started generating profit. The sales were good, and he received a lump sum of orders.
Amancio Ortega Set Up Zara
Together with his wife, Amancio Ortega started Zorba, which was later named Zara. They changed the name to avoid confusion with a restaurant that had already taken the brand Zorba. He was not aware that the company might turn out the world’s largest textile industry. Ortega had patience until the age of 37 years old when he set up this business.
Zara becomes one of the Indetex groups in Textile Sociedad Anonima in Spain. The brand has 6000 stores across the world.
The company is a source of income for many people as it has employed 92,000 people across the world. The companies owned by the tycoon do not believe in advertisements. Zara has no TV, billboards, or any other form of advert. Despite that, he has millions of customers across the world. But he has maintained the art of setting Zara’s location next to big brands like Nike.
Employees working in Zara live like a family. The reason behind the success of the company. Most time, they will spend time with their tycoon.
Ortega’s current net worth is $66.4 billion, a report by Forbes. But he likes keeping his profile low. He receives a salary of $15,700,000,000 per year.
In 2015, he overtook Bill Gates for a single day to become the world’s 2nd richest man for a single day. He owns a private jet worth $45,000,000. The jet has a comfortable interior with a carriage capacity of 18 passengers.
Amancio Ortega purchased a skyscraper in Spain, the tallest building before 2007, for $3,600,000. He also owns a complex apartment in Miami.
His discrete apartment in Spain faces the sea, where he stays with his family. In 2011, Ortega asked for his retirement. He announced his successor to be the vice president of Zara and CEO Pablo. He has worked with the man, and he believes Pablo will run the companies.
Zara launches 1200 new designs yearly.
Half of Zara’s designs are manufactured in its central location in Spain. Amancio always associates with his retailers, workers, and staff members. He believes in verbal communication rather than taking down notes. His management style, which is non-school, makes his workers embrace their love towards the man.
He married his first wife, Rosalie Malia, that year-. The couple set their goals to start Zara. She conceived three children: Marta Ortega, Sandra Mera, Marcos Mera. He married his 2nd wife in 2001, with whom they lived until now.
Amancio Ortega as a Philanthropist
He supports 500 students yearly to make sure they join universities and colleges. The system has made many students compete in the education sector to secure that chance. It acts as a motivation to Spanish students. He has a Foundation called Amancio Ortega Foundation, which pledges $344 million to Spanish hospitals, a report by philanthropynewsdigest.
In 2012, he donated 20 million euros to Roman catholic relief, Caritas Internationalis.