76 BOOK Amancio Ortega. Zara (2011)

February 21, 2024

Xavier R. Blanco (A Coruña 1973) Jesús Salgado (Ourense, 1953)

I really enjoy reading biographies, although I know you have to take them with a pinch of salt because they can contain more fiction than reality, depending on what they want to “show or gloss over”. This book, I felt, was heavily glossed over.

The story of Amancio Ortega is interesting. It’s said he started out as a delivery boy in a shop in Galicia, Spain, and now he’s one of the most important businessmen in Spain and one of the wealthiest men in the world. He learned to be a hardworking man from a very young age, belonging to a generation I believe didn’t know or enjoy their childhood as much as children do today.

What I was looking for in this book was to learn more about this man’s life, but unfortunately, it lacked biographical content. Its primary focus is on the story of Zara and the Inditex group. Although that’s interesting, it could be told differently to make it more digestible and engaging.

Two things caught my attention. Firstly, from the beginning, the quality of their products was never their central promise. They never deceived us about that, and we keep buying from them because their products are affordable. They called it “the democratisation of fashion”, offering attractive designs at competitive prices. They used low quality as a means to achieve those low costs, either by reducing the quality of the products or by paying little for the garment making. They have always sought ways to reduce costs, an interesting point to evaluate their business ethics. Secondly, I think it would be fascinating to analyse how they operate as a family business in more detail. Although they have been listed on the stock exchange for years, if you look at the organisational charts and the most critical positions, they have always been in the hands of the family. That’s where I find a lot of valuable information to analyse.

That’s the reading life, some books we love and others not. I’m sure someone else loved this book, and that’s the great thing about books. I don’t want to talk about the books I enjoy because I believe that all books deserve to be mentioned, especially considering that we want to be readers, not just consumers of books.

Thank you for reading.

Wishing you a fantastic day! 😘

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