Archive for June, 2010

CPRE Survey Supports Reduction of Light Pollution

Friday, June 25th, 2010

There is nothing like gazing at glittering stars at night. However, most people think the view of the sky at night is hampered by all the artificial light around. A recent survey has confirmed this.

For this reason, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has supported calls to reduce the usage of street lights and neon signs, among others, in order to lessen the problem.

With the help of the British Astronomical Association, the CPRE surveyed 1,745 people in the United Kingdom, and 83% of them said that they have been disturbed by this light pollution problem.

Around 50% of the respondents added that light pollution has been disturbing their sleep.

The CPRE added that artificial light not only distracts us from the magnificence of the night sky, it also damages the environment and wastes a lot of money.

Respondents expressed various comments through the survey, from regret and sadness to anger and frustration.

For several years, campaigners have promoted efforts to solve the problem. Supporters have also pointed out the importance of businesses, councils and homeowners in taking steps to reduce levels of light pollution.

“The costs of not acting are clear: unnecessarily high energy bills for councils, and therefore, for local taxpayers, more carbon emissions, disrupted sleeping patterns for people, disturbance to wildlife, and a night sky bereft of the majesty of the Milky Way,” said Emma Marrington, CPRE’s rural policy campaigner.

Profiles in Business: Amancio Ortega, the King of Spanish Fashion

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Amancio Ortega Gaona is a Spanish businessman who established one of the largest fashion companies in the world. He is the wealthiest individual in Spain, and the 10th richest man in the world, as ranked by Forbes Magazine. He has an estimated net worth of over $25 billion. The 73-year old self-made billionaire accumulated immense wealth from scratch as a mogul in the fashion industry. He is the founder, chairman and majority owner of the INdustrias de DIseño TEXtil, or simply called the Inditex Group.

Amancio Ortega’s Inditex is a Spanish conglomerate made up of different companies engaged in textile design, development, manufacturing and distribution. He controls one of the world’s largest fashion groups after LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which is led by French business tycoon Bernard Arnault.

Born in Leon, Spain on March 28, 1936 to a railroad worker and a maid, Amancio Ortega’s humble beginnings pushed him to work hard throughout his life. He started to work at the young age of 14 as a gofer in different shirt stores in A Coruña, Spain. He eventually pursued his own enterprise when he established Confecciones Goa, a textile company that manufactured dressing robes.

In 1975, Amancio Ortega opened his first store in what would become the extremely popular and innovative chain of fashion stores called Zara. The rest, as they say, is history. He has expanded his business and acquired several other brands along the way. From a single Zara store in A Coruña, Spain, he established a conglomerate of various fashion brands with over 4,350 stores employing more than 14,000 individuals all over the world.

The Inditex group is composed of several distinct brands, including Zara, Bershka, Pull and Bear/Often, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius, Oysho, Uterque and Zara Home. Amancio Ortega has been hands-on in leading the company by being part of the production and design processes of the company.

Mukesh Ambani: The Richest Man in Asia

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Mukesh Ambani is a 52-year old Indian business mogul. He is the current chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited, the largest private sector conglomerate in terms of market value in India. He is also the biggest shareholder of the Fortune 500 company, owning 48% of the corporation’s stocks. Presently, he is the fourth richest man in the world, with a net worth of $30 billion as estimated by Forbes Magazine.

The Indian billionaire acquired the entrepreneurial spirit and industriousness that led him to business success from his father, Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries. Dhirubhai Ambani turned the organization into India’s most massive conglomerate. Mukesh Ambani has followed his father’s footsteps since high school, when he would spend most of his time in his father’s office during the weekends.

He attended college at the University Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Mumbai, where he took up chemical engineering. He also pursued a Masters in Business Administration at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.

Mukesh Ambani joined Reliance in 1981. After their father died, he and his younger brother Anil took over Reliance Industries and ran the company together until 2006. Differences in interests and disputes over company control led the brothers to divide the conglomerate’s assets and operations. Mukesh Ambani took over the oil, gas and petrochemicals businesses.

Since then, he has led Reliance Industries and helped turn it into India’s most valuable company. He pushed for expansion as the company diversified into several ventures, including petrochemicals, petroleum refining, oil and gas exploration and production. He led Reliance’s initiative to create the biggest grassroots petroleum refinery in the world located in Jamnagar, India. Reliance Industries became the only Indian company to be included in Forbes Magazine’s list of “world’s 100 most respected companies.”