“Becoming a businessman just to get rich is a waste of time”. Leadership Rules of Inditex Founder Amancio Ortega
From the very beginning of building his successful business, Spanish businessman Amancio Ortega was obsessed with one idea – he wanted to unite people with one high goal. He dreamed of giving customers what they wanted, but it had to be done very quickly in order to satisfy their demand at a very attractive price, thus increasing the frequency of purchases.
The unique textile empire Inditex (Industriesin Designin Textiles) appeared, which united under its flag such brands as Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Stradivarius, Uterque and others.
The flagship of the company was the cult brand Zara, the leader of the world rating of retail companies, in which Amancio Ortega literally put his heart and soul.
I AM AN ARCHITECT
It is known that the company Zara very quickly became a global player in the world of the fashion industry and is one of the few on the market who responds with lightning speed to the main trends in the fashion world better than others. All this is thanks to the flair of the Spanish entrepreneur.
“What does Zara mean to you?” the journalist Covadonga O’Shea once asked Amancio Ortega. The genius who founded Inditex answered without hesitation, “For me, it is peace, not a show. It is a brand that was born from a company that wanted women around the world to dress very well, but not flaunt it. We do not develop different designs for each of the 80 countries in which we are represented – we ourselves create designs that are suitable for all 80 countries. It is not so difficult. The most important thing is to stay true to the essence of Zara”.
This conversation was included into the book The Phenomenon of Zara, which immediately became a bestseller. After all, Ortega did not only open a chain of stores, he created a unique business model. It is being studied by the world’s leading business schools now.
The book became very unique also because Amancio Ortega is a true introvert, he does not like to give interviews and until recently did not share business secrets and leadership rules. By the way, at the request of Ortega, the book cover is framed as a black package from his favorite network.
“I am an architect who failed,” says a Spanish businessman. “I love plans and drawings, read and interpret them easily. Moving forward, I never missed a single little thing that should have been done in the project that we had at the beginning. I put all of myself into creating each of them”, added Ortega.
TOGETHER WITH THE TEAM
Amancio Ortega is a master at picking people. Surprisingly, 90% of Zara’s management around the world, as well as other retail executives, grew out of simple sales consultants who responded to a recruiting announcement.
He makes it easy – only people with a clear philosophical position can be his employees: “always strive for excellence”. Throughout his business path, Ortega has always relied on like-minded people – and these are thousands of employees of all levels who make up a team of professionals.
He gave his HR manager only one piece of advice: “You must love people”. The focus on a person is the most important part of his philosophy. Therefore, one of the secrets of leadership of the founder of the textile empire Inditex is: “You must give people real independence. It is the key to success. And you have to be with the team and make decisions with them”.
It is an amazing fact that Amancio Ortega does not and never had his own office, he spends the whole day on his feet, completely in various processes, always in action and notices every new detail. It is not control – it is how the president of the textile empire has his finger on the pulse. “I would like to know the people who work nearby,” says Ortega.
These are not just words. One of the employees, who started working for the corporation as a seamstress in one of the ateliers, became the manager of Sanlor factory, which works for the head office. “Have you noticed how people love him? You will not find a single person who says something bad about him.
People may have their own opinion about the company, but about Ortega you will only hear good things. At heart, he is a very emotional person, and although sometimes he has to be tough and make hard decisions. Ortega has the humility to be grateful and the sensuality to take an interest in the smallest person he has met”.
Working in Inditex empire, employees grow like professionals, constantly remembering that the company is each one of them. It is the mission of Amancio Ortega, who most of all wanted to surround himself with like-minded people. After all, according to him, “becoming a businessman just to get rich is simply a waste of time”.