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Zara owner Amancio Ortega may soon surpass Bill Gates as world’s richest man

The Spanish retail tycoon on Tuesday briefly surpassed Gates by some million dollars to become the richest person in the world, but ended the day back at the second position.

August 30, 2017 / 05:10 PM IST
A CORUNA, SPAIN - JULY 27: Amancio Ortega, owner of Zara empire, meets some friends at CSI Casas Novas Horse Jumping Competition 2013 near Arteixo on July 27, 2013 in A Coruna, Spain.  (Photo by Xurxo Lobato/Getty Images)

A CORUNA, SPAIN - JULY 27: Amancio Ortega, owner of Zara empire, meets some friends at CSI Casas Novas Horse Jumping Competition 2013 near Arteixo on July 27, 2013 in A Coruna, Spain. (Photo by Xurxo Lobato/Getty Images)



Amancio Ortega, the founder of Zara’s parent company Inditex S.A., is closing in on Bill Gates's position as the world's richest person.


The Spanish retail tycoon on Tuesday briefly surpassed Gates by some million dollars to become the richest person in the world, but ended the day back at the second position.


Ortega’s net worth is USD 2.2 billion behind the Microsoft Corporation co-founder Bill Gates, with a net worth of $83.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.


The 81-year-old retailer from A Coruña had last surpassed Bill Gates to be the World's Richest Person in October 2015 after the company's net worth hit USD 80 billion, reaching an all-time high of 33.99 Euros per share.


At age 14, Ortega quit school and started working at a clothing store in A Coruña, where he gained a proper understanding of the garment business. He started the first Zara store with his wife in 1972.


Ortega's is the majority owner of the holding company Inditex, which also owns other clothing brands such as Stradivarius, Pull and Bear, Uterqüe, Massimo Dutti, and Oysho.


Apart from the garment business, Ortega also has a presence in the real estate sector. In 2012, his real estate business Pontegadea Inmobiliaria reported assets of more than 5 billion Euros.


Being born to a railway worker, Ortega worked his way to become Europe's richest person by following a unique business model that aims to reach out to customers with fashion garments as soon as possible.

Zara stores all over the world follow this policy even today, replacing their stock every few weeks.

first published: Aug 30, 2017 05:10 pm