Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are household names, but one of the men battling them for the top spot on the global billionaires list may have escaped your attention.
A self-made retail magnate who launched the Spanish brand Zara, Amancio Ortega briefly overtook the Microsoft founder last week to become the richest man in the world. Shares of Ortega's retail conglomerate have fluctuated since, but in any event, the Spanish retail magnate's reserve is a more interesting way to approach him than whether he is No. 1, 2 or 3 among the world's richest.
Buffett is a public relations and media master; Gates puts out lists of his favorite books to read on business. The Spanish billionaire, on the other hand, has shied away from the media for years while amassing a personal net worth of more than $77 billion (as of Thursday). His empire is built on a foundation of 7,000 stores in nearly 100 countries across brands like Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear, which amassed $20 billion in revenue in the last fiscal year for Inditex, the retail conglomerate Ortega founded.
Aspiring entrepreneurs can try to divine some of Ortega's operating principles and the secrets to his success from past profiles, an authorized biography written by a friend and the occasional interview he has given.
Here are five lessons from the press-shy $77 billion man to get you started.