Many people do not know much about this humble fashion designer, who has overtaken Warren Buffet in 2017, to become the second richest man on earth, with a net worth of $72.8 Billion (As at 15th January 2017). Amancio Ortega is the founder and former chairman of Inditex fashion group, best known for its chain of Zara clothing and accessories retail shops.
Amancio Ortega was born to a poor railway worker in Busdongo de Arbás, León, Spain. Being extremely poor, things were so difficult for young Amancio that at 14 years of age, he abandoned school and left his hometown to look for work. They lived in a beggarly house at the railway workers’ quarters. His mother employed as a housemaid, Amancio heard her pleading for credit at local stores, unable to afford essential items, which fueled his resolve to get a job and help out with the family’s finances. Shortly after, he found a job as a shop hand for a local shirtmaker called Gala. Frozen in time, Gala, a conventional shirts maker, is still active and open on one of La Coruña’s downtown corners. Selling traditional shirts, caps and cardigans, José Martínez, who inherited the Gala business from his father, has recently reported that the visitors never buy, they simply ask about his youth friend, Amancio.
At the age of 16, Amancio Ortega was pondering on how to figure out potential client desires and, what is even more important, meet that demand. He usually sits outside on the street corner, watching passersby to gain insight into what they need.
In 1975, he opened his first Zara store with his wife Rosalía Mera, so called because his preferred name Zorba was already taken. Zara’s success was in part due to its strategy of imitating popular fashions and quickly making them for sale at inexpensive prices. Ortega insists on being involved from the designing of any clothing right through to sewing and mass production.
Ortega keeps a very low profile and, until 1999, no photograph of Ortega had ever been published and is known for his preference for a simple lifestyle. He refuses to wear a tie and typically wears a simple uniform of a blue blazer, white shirt, and gray pants.
Today Amancio Ortega is the second richest man in the world, with a wealth index of $ 72.8 billion. To put this in perspective, Cameroon has a GDP of $28.5 billion while Ghana’s GDP is $37.7 billion. Both countries have a combined GDP of $66.2 billion, making Amancio Ortega richer than both by $6.6 billion !
This goes to buttress our point in Millionaires Academy that human resources is far more valuable than mineral resources. Follow this link to read the article. Individuals who develop their innate human resource, produce great wealth equivalent to nations. As such we know that the poverty in Nigeria is not due to lack of natural resources, but due to lack of quality human resources.