The lists of the wealthiest people on the planet include billionaires who well know in their country. And a few fewer people who are known to the whole world. But some businessmen became famous not so much for their wealth as for scandals and intrigues, incredible ambitions, and exciting stories.
These selection criteria characterized the national traditions of their countries and became the basis for selecting billionaire symbols of the regions where they live.
Liliane Bettencourt (France)
How would you characterize a typical representative of French society? Refined, passionate, loving, and prone to secret intrigues. One of the richest ladies in Europe, Liliane Bettencourt, was able to embody all these features in her work. From the age of 15, she worked in the beauty industry – in a company owned by her father. After he died in 1957, she became the sole heiress and headed the L’Oreal company.
Her husband, André Bettencourt, held a ministerial position and later went to work in the family business. His political connections did not disappear and even paid dividends. The journalists became the owners of an audio recording provided by Bettencourt’s former butler. This evidence nearly deprived Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy of the presidency. At them, the Minister of the Budget Eric Werth asked the businesswoman to find a job for his wife. But the whole piquancy of the story was that Werth was just the head of a company aimed at identifying companies that evade taxes.
And Bettencourt just received a tax rebate of € 30 million. But that’s not all. Soon, another portion of compromising evidence obtains from her accountant. During the presidential election campaign, the lady claimed that the same Vert, who headed the Union for a Popular Movement, was given an envelope with 150 thousand euros in cash. However, after lengthy proceedings, the investigation was closed.
Another funny story that happened to this lady cannot go unnoticed. As an 80-year-old Madame, Madame Bettencourt found herself embroiled in a spicy scandal. According to her daughter, the elderly billionaire gave her 60-year-old friend François-Marie Banier $ 1.4 billion in cash and gifts. Here were the policies for medical services and paintings by Picasso, Matisse, and other famous artists. Doctors found signs of Alzheimer’s disease in the lady, and, as you know, in addition to memory loss and dementia, she causes increased sexual desire. Here is such a nimble French billionaire!
Aliko Dangote (Nigeria)
Aliko Dangote is one of the wealthiest people on the African continent. He believes that doing business is like a war, that friends should be politicians, and sound should do only occasionally. Perhaps that is why the successful activity of his Dangote Group covers 14 African countries and employs more than 20 thousand people. It all began thirty years ago when an ambitious Nigerian made an unexpected bet on a cement mining company. The calculation was simple – just at this time, the rapid construction of roads and housing began.
The next thing that the entrepreneur undertook is the food market. He rightly judged that population growth and a decrease in inland areas would invariably lead to increased food prices. In the biography of a businessman, there is a place for connections with the government elite. Aliko Dangote is sometimes called the man who “privatized the government.” He sponsored the ruling party of Nigeria and the 2003 election campaign of former military man Olusegun Obasanjo. However, it cannot deny that Dangote is also a well-known philanthropist. He allocates significant funds for medical and educational projects.
Giorgio Armani (Italy)
This country is the birthplace of a considerable number of world-famous brands. But out of all this diversity, we chose a person on the 127th position in the Forbes world ranking. The life of 86-year-old Giorgio Armani is like an Italian fairy tale. In his youth, he visited both a photographer’s assistant and a military man. He studied for two years as a doctor at the University of Milan until he found a job as an assistant in a large department store. In a short time, he was able to climb the career ladder successfully, and in 1974 for the first time presented a collection of clothes under his name.
His business is advanced management and marketing techniques. For example, he first proposed to split the fashion and accessories companies by creating Armani Prive, Armani Jeans, Armani Casa, Armani Junior. Also, the visionary entrepreneur pays special attention to the image of his companies. His PR policy always verifies to the smallest detail; there are no random faces and unnecessary words in it. Advertising of the products of this brand is always a great success for sports and cinema stars because this means not only an excellent reward but also the consolidation of professional success. And the last – like any Italian man, Giorgio does not look his age. Sports, proper nutrition, and an attentive attitude to one’s person are the secret of the handsome Italian man. It’s a pity that women are only interested in him as models.
Robin Li (China)
Millions of Chinese boys would like to repeat the success of their compatriots. However, the life story of Robin Lee may well teach them this. The future billionaire was born into a large family. He successfully graduated from Peking University and then came to work in the United States at the invitation of Dow Jones.
He put his experience at a high-tech company into practice by creating the search engine Baidu. He found investors in the United States, and then, returning to China, he “hyped” the product. In addition to the incredible ability to work and the support of the Chinese government, the Internet boom in the Middle Kingdom itself contributed to the success.
However, Robin Li did not hesitate to earn money with little crafty methods as a true son of his country. So, there were times when his search engine gave out links to pirate sites where you could find mp3 files. Another way to make money is by placing advertising links like two peas in a pod similar to non-advertising ones. Also, the search engine Baidu introduced another innovation – it took money not only for advertising goods and services but also for hiding them