As of Wednesday, the Microsoft owner, Bill Gates, is no longer the richest man in the world.
That honor now belongs to Amancio Ortega.
According to Forbes, the shares of Ortega’s business Inditex, which is the parent company to brands Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear, climbed 2.5% on Wednesday, increasing Ortega’s personal fortune by $1.7 billion.
The change resulted in his net worth increase from $77.8 billion to $79.5 billion, which is now higher than Gates’ $78.5 billion.
Who is Amancio Ortega?
Ortega, son of a railway worker, briefly became the world’s richest man for the first time in October 2015 after Inditex shares hit an all-time high and boosted his net worth to $80 billion.
The current world’s richest man started his career as a store clerk in his hometown. He opened his business facing various financial dilemmas. Initially, he invested less than $100 in his business along with his wife. They used to make apparels such as pajamas and nightgowns in their living rooms.
They continued their work and invested the profit again and again. Eight years later, Ortega’s business had expanded to nine locations around Spain in 1975.
Inditex is one of the largest retailers in the world. Ortega’s company is also considered as the world’s most efficient retailing operation. In the early 2000s, companies such as Gap and H&M took upto five months to design, make, distribute and sell new products whereas Ortega’s mastermind business did all that in three weeks which resulted in exponential growth of his businesses. It relies highly on advertising compared to competitor retailers in the market.
In 2001, Ortega took his business public and debuted in Forbes’ billionaires list the same year. His initial net worth was $6.6 billion. At that time, Bill Gates was already the richest man with a fortune of $58.7 billion.