If you haven’t heard already, there has been a change at the top of the business world. Bill Gates is no longer the Richest Man In The World, according to Forbes magazine. That title, now rests on the head of Amancio Ortega – owner of little-heard company Inditex. If you haven’t heard of Inditex, you’ve definitely heard of their brands – Zara, Massimo Dutti, Pull&Bear, Bershka among others. The 80 year old from Spain has for long been the country’s Richest Man and the European continent’s richest. And with the 2.5 percent rise of Inditex stock prices few days ago, Ortega is now officially the World’s Richest Man, bringing an end to the reign of Microsoft chief, Gates. With his net worth reaching US$ 78 Billion, more than US$ 0.6 Billion more than his nearest rival.

But success doesn’t come easily, ever. A son of a railroad worker, Ortega started his company more than 40 years ago in 1975 with his first wife in the small room of his house. Growing from that small Spanish region of Galicia as a family-run dressmaker shop to over 6000 stores across 90 countries today.

Here are some lessons we can learn from the life of the Richest Man:

You Can Have A Low Profile And Still Be Successful

Not much was known about Ortega, till recently. Ortega is known to be an introvert and a recluse, avoiding press meets, interviews or even being pictured. And despite not being the life of a party or being overtly extroverted, he has quietly amassed a whole lot of wealth.

Ortega with daughter and future of Inditex, Marta

Ortega with daughter and future of Inditex, Marta

Be Humble

Coming from a very humble background himself, Ortega is known for his down-to-earth nature. He is known to have meals with his employees at work, visits his local coffee shop often and dresses modestly in the same white shirt, grey pants and blue blazer everyday. His quiet nature allowed him to steadily rise among the global ranks.

You’re Never Too Late To Be Successful

Jobs, Zuckerberg, Gates all started off by the time they were 21 – and made a ton of money already. But, Ortega started his business only at age 40. Starting late doesn’t mean you can’t be successful and it shows that life began for the businessman only after 40.

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

It took a decade for Ortega to found Zara’s holding company Inditex and open his first shop. Today, Inditex is one of the world’s biggest fashion groups. Being older and smarter, Ortega was able to take great business decisions given that experience and maturity was on his side. Instead of acting inappropriately or irrationally, with patience you can step back, regroup, and make the best decision possible.

The World’s Richest Man Can Still Be A Non-Tech Entrepreneur

Given that the list of richest world personalities, include those who are in the tech space, it is a pleasant thought to find a conventional brick and mortar store business owner being the world’s richest. Maybe it signifies that Tech entrepreneurs have slagged or perhaps its just Inditex’s unprecedented growth that can’t be matched by anyone else.


Whatever the case may be, Ortega toppling Gates on the top is very big news and it will shake a few things up for sure. Will Ortega manage to hold on to the top? Will Bill Gates make a return on the top? Or is there a new future ahead of us? Perhaps a Jeff Bezos or Jack Ma will topple Ortega? Well, we can’t answer this. Only time will tell.





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