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Rail-worker & housemaid’s son,Left school at 14 to work, Shopkeepers refused his mother credit to buy groceries: World’s Richest Man


Ortega’s fairy-tale is a beyond doubt stimulating one as he rose from bowels of poverty and came to a coveted position. He had to left school and moved to A Coruña, Spain at the early age of 14, because of the nature of the job of his father, a railway worker. He found a work as a shop hand for a local shirt maker called Gala and started learning and making clothes by hand.

Being awfully deprived, the Ortega family had to move to La Coruña, and they lived in a beggarly dwelling at the railway workers’ quarters. Ortega’s mother had to work housemaid, Amancio heard her mother requesting for small lending at local shops and stores for small things, financially unable to pay for necessary items, consequently to support family, Ortega left education and started working at the early age of 14. His foremost work was a tailoring shop helper at a neighbourhood business, named Gala. There he started learning how to make clothes by hands. Actually this shop Gala is still there.

Constantly listed in top 10 richest men, Many times Ortega has become world’s richest due to fluctuation in share market. Inditex, the biggest fashion group in the world, operates over 7,200 stores in 93 markets worldwide. The company’s flagship store is Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Oysho, Pull and Bear, Stradivarius and Uterqüe. Not only revenue, personal story but Ortega’s business philosophy is also worth following –

Work hard in silence, let success make the noise

In age of marketing, Ortega not only believes but follows it, from early stage of business he is seen very less in media. Vision is more important than visibility.


Innovation is a habit

The worst thing one can do is become self-satisfied, Ortega told a group of business professors in 2007. “Success is never guaranteed,” he said to Cinco Dias, a Spanish business and finance newspaper that reported on the event.


Always stick to your roots

Born to a railway worker and housemaid, Ortega left school at the age of 14 to support family, He was shamed by a shopkeeper who refused his mother credit to buy groceries for the family, his friend and biographer Covadonga O’Shea told an audience in 2012, when the English version of her book, “The Man From Zara,” was released.


Don’t Copy others and manage management

Made in China does not alter his vision, the fashion group operates in Spain, Portugal and Morocco, The Economist reported in 2012. This geographical closeness helps in controlling consumer psychology and fastest delivery.


Costumers make business model

“The customer has always driven the business model,” Ortega wrote in Inditex’s 2009 annual report.. In the 2010 annual report, the last before Ortega stepped down from his position as chairman, he wrote, “The customer must continue to be our main centre of attention, both in the creation of our fashion collections and in the design of our shops, of our logistical system and of any other activity.”


Not only First Mover but fastest also

The creator of term fast fashion completely changes the stock in stores twice a week without repetition and ensures manufacturing orders within 48 hours. Consumer looked-for designs with least possible lead time including designing, making and supply chain, makes Zara business model optimization matchless.



About Author

MIFT ( Mysore Institute of Fashion Technology) students, trainee and scholars study and research about fashion, makeup, forecasting, e commerce, disruptive technologies in fashion & cosmetics industry. The primary research objective is to create open industry modular ecosystem platform for fashion designers and makeup artists to work and earn in hyper personal and local market using IR 4 and 5 ( industrial revolution) technologies to disrupt connected digitalization of mass production. 


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