In his simple uniform of white shirt, blue blazer and grey trousers, the octogenarian Amancio Ortega Gaona still goes to work and still eats at the cafeteria of his billion-dollar fashion industry headquarters. The wealthiest retailer in the world’s philosophy is as simple as his wardrobe. “Satisfy the needs of our customers with the latest in fashion,” states the billionaire.
It has earned him a net worth of over $70 billion, according to the 2018 figures published by Forbes. Ortega is the co-founder of Inditex, with over 7,500 stores, and worldwide availability online. Inditex is known for the Zara fashion chain with home to popular brand names, including Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear.
Ortega started off selling quilted bathrobes made by sewing cooperatives. It was the commencement of a global fashion industry mogul that no one could have predicted. His hands-on approach is a cerebral coordination of resources, both human and material, that obtain optimum production.
He tends to keep out of the spotlight, content to oversee his business dealings. He invests primarily in real estate, in Madrid, Barcelona, London, Chicago, Miami, and New York, while maintaining his main residence in A Coruña, Spain.
Ortega rewards his staff with employee profit-sharing and is a generous benefactor to many charities, including donating literally hundreds of millions of dollars for improving cancer detection and treatment, to Spain’s hospitals.
“Innovation and commitment towards our customers define our corporate culture” – Amancio Ortega