Amancio Ortega was born in 1936 in Leon and when he was 14 years old he became the distributor of the haberdashery Gala in La Coruña. Then he became a seller at the clothing company La Maja, where he met his ex-wife Rosalia Mera, and began to think about the business project that is now Inditex. Every night, they sewed gowns by hand until 1972 when Amancio’s brothers, one of his sisters and José Antonio Caramelo (founder of the clothing company Caramelo), helped him to create Confections GOA (the initials of Amancio Ortega Gaona backwards) in Santiago de Compostela.
In 1975 he opened the first Zara store in La Coruña, specifically in the Torreiro Street, where he sold women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing. A year later, GOA became the owner of Zara and their stores extended to all cities in Spain.
In 1985, the Inditex group, which integrates all activities of the company, regardless of external suppliers and freelancers, in 1988 opened the first store outside Spain, in Porto, Portugal, starting the international expansion to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey, Japan or the United States, among others.
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Today in almost every capital of the world there is a store of any of the Inditex lines of clothing, and Amancio Ortega is the world’s third-richest man behind Bill Gates and Carlos Slim, with a fortune of 57 billion dollars. His businesses has been also extended to other sectors besides of the textile, such as real estate, finances, automobile dealerships or the management of investment funds.
How did he get here?
There are many theories, but some of them sum everything up on 5 basic principles that Amancio has followed and enforced at all times in his business: being curious about what others are doing, teamworking and delegating responsibilities, being a non-conformist, being disciplined and persevering and controling his own business debt, renting instead of buying the stores and reinvesting constantly in the business.
Currently, the Inditex group is the first textile group in the world and integrates several fashion brands besides Zara, such as Pull & Bear, Bershka, Oysho, Massimo Dutti and Stradivarius, all with the idea of offering fashion at a low price, available for any pocket.
Another of his secret is to practice the relocation of the producing industries to other countries outside of Spain for a higher profit. It also plays an important role that Amancio Ortega is, they say, a man of simple habits, not eccentric at all and not likely to go out at parties or appearing on the media. For years no one knew how he physically was and he rarely gives interviews or speaks out of his business, being very jealous of his privacy. His whole family is in important positions of the business group, which maintains the personality and essence of the business. In short, the origins of the empire led by
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For years no one knew how he physically was and he rarely gives interviews or speaks out of his business, being very jealous of his privacy. His whole family is in important positions of the business group, which maintains the personality and essence of the business. In short, the origins of the empire led by Amancio Ortega are as humble as can be those of an entrepreneur who wants to start now, but with hard work, a good business model and a good view of the market, among many other virtues, everybody can achieve success.
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