Spanish billionaire, Amancio Ortega, made headlines this year when he occupied the third spot in the Fobres list of billionaires with a whooping net worth of $57 billion. His net worth rapidly rose more than any other billionaire on Forbes list, which helped to drive his net worth to record breaking heights. Thanks to his Inditex fashion group, popularly referred to as Zara fashion brand! Many other clothing brands are now increasingly mimicking the model of Zara fashion.
Inditex is a kind of a supply chain prodigy, where clothes make their way from idea to design to the Zara outlets in a matter of a few days. This unbelievable speed along with wonderful presentation has made room for Inditex to bloom. Ortega, who owns 60% of inditex built this massive fashion empire on his own and never had a godfather or investors to back him.
He was born in Busdongo de Arbas , Spain and was the youngest of four children. At the age of 14, he moved to La Coruna as his father, who was a railway worker was transferred to the city. He settled down for a job as a shop hand for Gala, a local shirt manufacturer when he was in his teens. He founded Confecciones Goa (his name in reverse) in 1972 selling bathrobes which he manufactured with the help of local women. He opened his first Zara store in 1975, as his opted name Zorba was taken already. His fashion empire now reaches more than 80 nations.
An interesting fact about Ortega is that he has not allowed success to make its way to his head. He lives with his second wife in a modest apartment in La Coruna, Spain and is an utterly a simple dresser, clad in a blue blazer, gray pants and white shirt, none of which are Zara products each day. The 76-year-old visits the same coffee outlet everyday and lunches with his workers in the cafeteria of Zara. Unlike most other billionaires, he does not drive a fancy car but an Audi A8. He has just a single major indulgence as he owns a private jet, The Global Express BD-700, developed by Bombardier with an attached price tag of a whooping $45 million. He is known to be very shy and does not grant any interviews to any media outlet. So far he has given interviews to only three journalists. His humbleness and simplicity are major factors that make him stand out from the rest of the crowd of billionaires.
Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple, is another billionaire who still is considered down to earth. He lives a discreet lifestyle in a 2,400 square foot house, which he purchased at a price of $1.9 million in the year 2010. In a book by Apple, he says that he loves to be reminded of his roots and placing himself in a modest environment assists him to do that. He is of the opinion that money is not a driving force for him.
People like Ortega and Cook do not allow success to make its way into their head and believe that one has to remain grounded and remember friends and associates who were there with them when they were poor.