Albert Shigabutdinov: ''TAIF style, in essence, is creation of new generation of people''

On 12 November, Albert Shigabutdinov, Director General of TAIF PSC, celebrated his 65th anniversary. Realnoe Vremya online newspaper has outlined the top 10 major achievements of TAIF director general that influenced the development in Tatarstan of petrochemical, oil refining, construction and other industries. Large-scale projects are implemented not in a vacuum, they first arise in the minds of extraordinary people, leaders with unbending will and determination. This can be said about Director General of TAIF PSC Albert Shigabutdinov, whose experience and talent of an entrepreneur helped to create the largest investment company of Tatarstan, bringing together key petrochemical enterprises of the republic.

From Kazan VTNPO to TAIF PSC

Albert Shigabutdinov already in childhood sought to achieve goals despite all the difficulties. As a child he had to deal with the consequences of a serious illness. The obstacles built his character — it is impossible to count them how many they were then. In the dashing 1990s, when the country was shifting to the building of new ownership relations, Albert Shigabutdinov with partners founded the Foreign Trade Scientific Production Association Kazan (Kazan VTNPO).

Photo from the press service archive of TAIF PSC

In times of total deficit, the company served the needs of Kazan in food and industrial products. Budding entrepreneurs were engaged in the import of office equipment, computers, furniture, vehicles. Through barter agreements, Kazan VTNPO supplied AvtoVAZ with tires.

The businessmen understood that industrial enterprises stood idle because of discontinued supply of raw materials. Besides, the quality of the products left much to be desired. ''We started working in business at a very difficult time — in the early nineties. The contacts with officials at the government level began later, when our company, the Foreign Trade Scientific Production Association Kazan, having stood on its own two feet due to sale of petrochemical products, began to understand that it needed more decisive ways and support at the state level to improve the regional economy, to pull the enterprises of petrochemical industry out of a deep crisis. It urgently required to raise the product quality, to increase output volume,'' Albert Shigabutdinov recalls.

Photo from the press service archive of TAIF PSC

In 1995, it was decided to reorganize Kazan VTNPO into TAIF PSC. First President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev green-lighted the decision. The regional leadership and the shareholders of the company assigned TAIF as an investment company to perform difficult tasks: to work on effectiveness of the regional companies. The activities of TAIF PSC subsidiaries now fall into five main areas: oil extraction, oil refining and petrochemistry, construction, telecommunications, services. The history of development of each of these areas is worthy of a separate book.

TAIF-INVEST reveals potential of securities market

As a visionary entrepreneur, Albert Shigabutdinov foresaw a huge potential and value of the stock market to create the new economy of Russia. TAIF leadership decides to create a professional participant of the securities market to represent the interests of the company in the new economic realities and to promote the integration of the group of companies in Russian and international economic space. Thus, in January 1997, TAIF founded the brokerage company TAIF-INVEST, which is involved in many joint projects with participation of the issuers of the Republic of Tatarstan to this day.

In January 1997, TAIF founded the brokerage company TAIF-INVEST

One of the first customers of TAIF-INVEST was the Chemical plant named after Karpov, which shares were introduced in the Russian trading system (RTS) and maintained by the company as a market maker — a trading participant responsible for the maintenance of prices, demand, supply and (or) volume of trading in securities. The company's specialists took part in the program of allocation of the regional companies' shares on domestic and international stock markets. In particular, in the program of issuance of American Depositary Receipts (ADR) for shares of the enterprises such as Kazanorgsintez, Nizhnekamskneftekhim, Nizhnekamskshina.

The company TAIF-INVEST took an active part in placing of bonds of the first in the republic cellular operator, TAIF-TELCOM JSC, of the trade mark Santel, which attracted additional funding for the project of construction and development of cellular network of the Republic of Tatarstan. Secondary market of these securities was organized in the RTS, which created a precedent for corporate bonds trading on this platform. Before that, only shares were traded on this biggest Russian stock market. Allocation of TAIF-TELCOM bonds on the organized market site was undertaken one of the first in Russia, along with the securities of the largest companies such as Gazprom, Tyumen Oil Company, and Lukoil. It was the project at the federal level.

TAIF-TELCOM: pioneer in cellular industry

The profit on operations on the stock market and trading operations was invested in major projects on the territory of the republic, in particular – in creation of the local cellular operator TAIF-TELCOM, working under the trade mark Santel. ''Realizing that we as market subjects couldn't do without quick and effective communication, we started thinking about creation of modern telecommunication services. We acted using the principle: if not we take this on, who will? Someone from outside? But why do they have to care about our problems, and how soon this hypothetical investor decides to do much good for us? In the end, we did all by ourselves. First, we launched the projects of mobile and fixed communication, later created terrestrial and satellite television and multimedia network, including cable television,'' Albert Shigabutdinov says in the book The First Stories About TAIF.

It turned out that up to 95% of the stationary communication stations in Tatarstan was created 40-50 years ago

Of course, the process of creating from scratch the popular brand of cellular communication of Tatarstan was fraught with difficulties. It turned out that up to 95% of the stationary communication stations in Tatarstan was created 40-50 years ago. The outdated equipment made it virtually impossible to tie in the modern mobile communication systems with fixed networks. Moreover, for urban communication it was responsible the Kazan city telephone network, and for long-distance and international — Tattelecom. This separation complicated the situation even more. The whole industry needed to be reorganized. By the order of President Mintimer Shaimiev and Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov, the pioneer in the market of cellular communication of the Republic of Tatarstan, TAIF, was attracted to this process.

TAIF-TELCOM gradually became the first and chief in the Republic of Tatarstan cellular operator of GSM standard — the largest local company. The wide network of base stations covered almost the whole region. At the beginning of the 2000s, Santel to a certain extent was the hallmark of Tatarstan. Having developed the mobile direction, in 2003 TAIF gained $150 million from the sale of telecommunication business to the federal operator MTS, focusing on other activities.

A new impetus of Tatarstan petrochemical industry

In an interview, Albert Shigabutdinov admitted that the most difficult period for TAIF was the years 1997-1999. At this time, the company started reconstruction of the Nizhnekamsk chemical plant. In the late 90s, Nizhnekamskneftekhim was working on tolling scheme. TAIF leadership understood that improving the product quality of the enterprise was impossible without a serious upgrade of production technologies, and this in turn required large investments.

TAIF offered Nizhnekamskneftekhim JSC and Tatneft JSC to modernize the refinery in short terms. However, that time the oil and petrochemical leaders did not support the company in this project. TAIF took on reconstruction of oil refineries itself and came up trumps.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim is in the top 10 world producers of synthetic rubber. Photo: the press service of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC

Today Nizhnekamskneftekhim is one of the largest petrochemical companies in Europe. The company is in the top 10 world producers of synthetic rubber. In 2016, it produced 670,000 tonnes of rubber, the main consumers of which are world giants such as Michelin, Pirelli, Bridgestone, Continental and Goodyear. The second major area of the company's work is the production of plastics such as ABS plastic, polystyrene, polypropylene and polyethylene. Over the past year it produced 730,000 tonnes of plastic, which allowed to almost fully cover the needs of Russian market in polypropylene and polyethylene.

In 2017, Nizhnekamskneftekhim marked the 50th anniversary with ambitious plans on building the largest investment project of the olefin complex with a capacity of 1,2 million tonnes of ethylene a year. The services on design, equipment and materials supply, provision of technical advisory will be provided by the German company Linde.

The signing of the memorandum on strategic cooperation of TAIF Group and Linde AG. Photo: Lina Sarimova

The enterprise development strategy until 2025 includes goals to increase all kinds of products. By 2021, it is planned to increase production capacity of synthetic rubbers up to 1 million tonnes a year. With the aim of import substitution and expansion of sales in Russia and CIS, it is also planned to increase plastics production to 1,5 million tonnes a year by 2021 and to 2,5 million tonnes by 2025.

The technology of new generation at TAIF-NK

For half a century, the Republic of Tatarstan, possessing large reserves of hydrocarbons and leading in terms of oil production, did not have its own processing base, carrying out only the functions of a supplier of raw resources to other regions of the country and abroad. Albert Shigabutdinov understood the need for development of refining industry in Tatarstan. In 1997, the management of TAIF established on the territory of Nizhnekamsk industrial area its branch — TAIF-NK, which focused on the issues of design and construction of the refinery complex.

At the end of 2015, the company switched to production of Euro 5 fuel. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

At the end of 2015, the company switched to production of Euro 5 fuel. The government imposes such requirements to all producers from the beginning of 2016. High environmental relevance of this product has been highlighted by President of the Republic Rustam Minnikhanov, who took part in the solemn ceremony of Euro 5 gasoline launching in production.

Tatarstan TAIF-NK has some fundamental differences from other Russian refineries. The majority of oil refineries in the country are focused exclusively on the production of motor fuels. TAIF-NK works in two directions simultaneously: it provides the raw material for the petrochemical industry and produces fuel. At the same time, the company is one of several in Tatarstan and Russia processors of the most heavy and high-sulfur oil. For this reason, in the autumn 2012 with participation of President of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, it was held a solemn ceremony dedicated to the official beginning of construction of the heavy residue conversion complex based on the unique technology Veba Combi Cracking.

TAIF-NK processes 8,4 million tonnes of oil and gas condensate annually, receiving nearly 2,5 million tonnes of dark petroleum products

The Heavy Residue Conversion Complex is being at the stage of commissioning. After commissioning, the depth of processing is to increase from 74,5% to 98%, and from dark residue (tar and oil) with a volume of almost 4 million tonnes a year, at the output there will be light petroleum products (diesel fuel, naphtha, straight-run petrol, butane and propane fraction, nafta), meeting the European quality and environmental standards.

Kazanorgsintez: realities of today

In the early 2000s, TAIF Group became the key shareholder of the petrochemical giant Kazanorgsintez. ''The republican government offered us to deal with Kazanorgsintez, which could not start modernization,'' recalls Albert Shigabutdinov. ''We held negotiations with all shareholders owning not less than 0,1% of the shares. It took about a year. The government, which initially offered us to buy a large stake in, stated that if it sold its blocking stake, it would be only through an auction. We decided that the auction would only raise interest in the securities of the company and, accordingly, their price on the market. We had to continue negotiations with the shareholders. They were conducted strictly confidentially, and all contracts with the holders of the securities were signed almost simultaneously and at above-market and privatization prices.''

It was invested more than $2 billion in the program for Kazanorgsintez development. Photo: Kazanorgsintez PJSC press service archive

The program of Kazanorgsintez development with the participation and under the control of TAIF and the government of the Republic of Tatarstan was developed for nearly three years. It was invested more than $2 billion. The scale of positive changes at the enterprise is huge — Kazanorgsintez was turning into a model chemical plant with the latest technology and equipment.

Fundamental changes at the company, which remains one of the largest producers of polyethylene in Russia and CIS countries, began with the signing of the contract in the spring of 2004 between Kazanorgsintez and the American company Univation Technologies on granting the Tatarstan enterprise a license for the right of designing, construction, production and sales in all countries of the world of polyethylenes of the newest brands of linear and bimodal structure with a total capacity of up to 440,000 tonnes a year.

Photo: Maksim Platonov

In addition to the introduction of new production lines, the company improves the product characteristics. In 2014, at the plant for production and processing of high-density polyethylene it was put into service the line of bag palletizing and packaging in the case from stretch film. This allowed to improve the packing quality of polyethylene, to lower polyethylene scattering during transportation, to improve the performance of loading operations.

It is planned to introduce new technologies at Kazanorgsintez that will allow the company to reduce the risks for the supply from Gazprom of ethane — the most important raw material for ethylene production and the end product — polyethylene. By 2020, Kazanorgsintez intends to produce a million tonnes of polyethylene a year — one and a half times more than today. Kazanorgsintez will be neither more nor less than the largest producer of polyethylene in Europe, and by 2025 it is planned to start production of engineering plastics used in automotive, aerospace and space industries.

Growth energy

In 2010, having amalgamated Nizhnekamsk CHPP-1 and Kazan CHPP-3, TAIF created TGC-16 JSC. Albert Shigabutdinov understood that without the own energy source, the diversified holding company, concentrating the energy intensive industries, couldn't move forward confidentally strengthening market position. The idea to form its own energy generating capacity came to the Tatarstan petrochemical leaders in the 90s. The management of Nizhnekamskneftekhim was trying to prove to the government of the region the advisability of incorporating into the structure of the enterprises of Nizhnekamsk CHPP-1, more than 80% of the generated energy consumed by NKNK. The mechanism of this transfer could become privatization of the station. That time all the efforts of the petrochemical leaders were in vain.

Photo: Maksim Platonov

The creation of the private energy company of TAIF Group was determined by a rapid and unjustified growth of tariffs for energy resources supplied at the time by the republican monopoly Tatenergo through an intermediary, Tatenergosbyt JSC, to industrial enterprises. In addition, the companies of TAIF consumed a total of 50% of the generated by Tatenergo heat and provided up to 80% of the revenue part from the heat with exhaust steam from the power plants of Generating Company JSC included in the structure of Tatenergo JSC. ''It cannot be continued this way,'' said Albert Shigabutdinov at an annual meeting of the shareholders. ''We will create our own energy from scratch.''

Becoming the asset owner, TAIF began to develop a strategic program to improve the reliability and efficiency of the energy complex at the expense of its fundamental modernization. The modernization program was divided into two stages. First it was implemented activities aimed at ensuring reliability in the production of thermal and electric energy. Then it started the stage of complex reconstruction and modernization of the power plants.

The energy unit, the power capacity of which is now 405,6 MW, was officially launched by Rustam Minnikhanov. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

In June 2017, TGC-16 completed the complex modernization of the largest Kazan plant CHPP-3. The energy unit, the power capacity of which is now 405,6 MW, was officially launched by Rustam Minnikhanov. It should be noted that it is the largest gas turbine plant in Russia.

The total cost of the project amounted to 14 billion rubles. ''We spent on the production of a kilowatt-hour of electrical energy about 300 grams of conditional fuel, but now we will consume less — 200 grams. I think that by those parameters that are characteristic of the turbine, we can repay the project in acceptable for us terms. For Kazanorgsintez it is a very reliable power supply,'' Albert Shigabutdinov said.

A sense of responsibility for employees

Life itself suggested Albert Shigabutdinov what direction of Tatarstan's economy needed the most the attention and support of TAIF. Immediately after the creation in Tatarstan of the President's Fund for elimination of dilapidated housing in 1996, it was opened a subsidiary company Meta-TAIF. The company took part in the program on liquidation of dilapidated housing and in record time erected two 12-storey brick houses in the residential district Azino-1. Kazan citizens had the opportunity to move from old, uncomfortable houses in the city centre to new comfortable apartments. In 1998, another two residential houses were commissioned.

After the creation in Tatarstan of the President's Fund for elimination of dilapidated housing in 1996, it was opened the subsidiary company Meta-TAIF. Photo:

For further development of the construction industry, TAIF established another company — TAIF-ST. It is the company that erected Kazan's first full-fledged cultural-entertainment complex Piramida, new offices of the company, the complex of buildings for the customs terminal Karsar, which includes a petrol station, service stations, hotels and warehouses. Thanks to the efforts of TAIF, the construction industry of Tatarstan began to develop as an industry. The concrete plant started its operation, as well as the sand lime brick plant. Piles, produced by the plant of concrete, were used in the construction of half of the city buildings.

Albert Shigabutdinov has always advocated that the standard of living of the employees of his company were not worse than of people in developed countries. Therefore, after the end of the program of liquidation of dilapidated housing, TAIF continued the work with the state housing fund under the program of social mortgage. The company annually makes voluntary contributions for the implementation of this program. Together with Avers Bank, for the years 2014-2016, the employees of TAIF Group received 4,513 apartments.

So, from 2005 to 2014, 586 families of the employees of Kazanorgsintez PJSC improved their living conditions under the program. Besides, it was signed an agreement with the State Housing Fund on allocation of another 1,600 apartments for the workers of the plant in the residential area Salavat Kupere for 50,000 residents, where the provision of engineering infrastructure at a total amount of 760 million rubles was fully undertaken by TAIF.

Investments in history

Albert Shigabutdinov has repeatedly underlined how it is important that businesses need to be responsible for the social life of the republic. Together with the fund Revival, headed by Tatarstan State Counselor Mintimer Shaimiev, TAIF conducts joint projects on revival of cultural and historical heritage on the island-town Sviyazhsk and Bolgar.

The holding continues to finance the restoration and construction works in the ancient city of Bolgar

According to Mintimer Shaimiev, participation in such projects for conservation of cultural heritage is a decent way into the history. The representatives of the companies-investors, interacting with historians, archaeologists, conservators, learn about the history of their native land. Their good act itself becomes a history because each of the restored object immortalizes the names of the companies-investors and the names of their leaders.

Before the advent of Revival Fund, there virtually was no infrastructure and communication on the territory of Bolgar and Sviyazhsk. Roads, gasification, treatment plants, sustainable heat and energy supply had to be restored again. The results of the active restoration of historical objects, cultural monuments, Orthodox churches and construction of new facilities were not late in coming — the number of tourists in Bolgar and Sviyazhsk has increased significantly.

Before the advent of Revival Fund, there virtually was no infrastructure and communication on the territory of Bolgar and Sviyazhsk

Minister of Culture of Russia Vladimir Medinsky highlighted the transformation of Sviyazhsk during his visit to the town-island in 2017. ''The town is becoming like a little oasis of perfect cleanliness and order, it is the result of attention and care to the culture. The number of visitors who come here has increased nearly 100 times. Ten years ago it was 7,000 people, this year it is more than 500,000 people. I'm sure that in one or two years we will celebrate the figure of one million tourists in Sviyazhsk,'' the minister said.

The holding continues to finance the restoration and construction works in the ancient city of Bolgar. Besides, in 2016, TAIF supported the initiative of the residents of Tatarstan for the construction of the Islamic Academy in Bolgar and reconstruction of the Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God in Kazan. In 2016, for these purposes it was allocated 1 billion rubles, and since 2012 — more than 1,5 billion rubles.

TAIF team consists of modest and professional staff

Certainly, it is impossible to achieve high results in refining, petrochemical and other fields of economy without a cohesive team of like-minded people. Only with the right partners who eventually become close friends it is possible to go through all difficulties in the way of an entrepreneur. Albert Shigabutdinov is called to be a talented manager, who definitely knows how to gather a team. Rustem Sulteev and Guzeliya Safina were the first partners and later became top managers of TAIF. They continue to work together and they cannot imagine their way without TAIF.

''We haven't invented something new, of course. It was just regular people — not lazy, not mummy's boys, but workaholics, who taught themselves to work day and night and not to whine, not to complain about difficulties and fatigue. And it is not an exaggeration. Life went on at an accelerated pace. We managed to do so many things in a day that other people would do in a week,'' Albert Kashafovich says in an interview.

Rustem Sulteev and Guzeliya Safina were the first partners and later became top managers of TAIF. Photo: Roman Khasaev

The company's director general always says that the style of TAIF is the creation of a new generation of professionals. Not only the management of the holding works hard and at full efficiency. Albert Shigabutdinov believes that any experienced employee of the enterprise could be employed in the most prosperous companies. ''We work next to very modest, but highly professional people. It is the way we achieve the overall result,'' said the head of the company.

Albert Shigabutdinov admitted that in TAIF any senior member could quickly earn a lot of money if had such goal. However, the company deliberately limits itself by investing all funds in the production, that is, further development of the enterprise. ''I want my children and grandchildren lived here and thought about the prosperity of their native land. Our lives and rest can be arranged as beautiful as in Switzerland, for example, where tourists go from all over the world — we have everything for this. Our soul is happy by what have been done and that good deeds of TAIF are in the sight of everyone,'' Albert Shigabutdinov added.

''Such a person is rightly called a ''priceless human capital''

Major political figures, long-standing supporters, partners from Russian and international companies congratulate Director General of TAIF PSC Albert Shigabutdinov with the 65th anniversary and share with the history of their joint work.

  • Rustam Minnikhanov

    Rustam Minnikhanov President of the Republic of Tatarstan

    What's TAIF today? It's 21% of the volume of industrial production of Tatarstan, about 27% of gross regional product, 17% of income to the consolidated budget from income tax, 78bn rubles of investments in the fixed capital. Many regions even don't such a volume of investments. In addition, TAIF Group of Companies has neither oil nor gas but the big complexes are competitive.

    Our well-being is that Tatarstan managed to save the oil complex, both oil refining and petrochemical – it all works for the good of our republic. Of course, TAIF's merit is huge. Today the group of companies is not only oil refining and petrochemistry, it has construction, banking complexes, telecommunications. It all is the foundation of our republic, it's the reserve and the base we have today in the republic. We open a new factory every year. Tatarstan is the biggest plastic producer, biggest synthetic rubber producer for a reason. And we still have big plans for the future. We agreed with Mr Shigabutdinov that pride of place in the strategy Tatarstan-2030 would be given to oil refining and petrochemistry – they're growth points. And there's no doubt that highly professional collectives that are part of TAIF Group of Companies are able to solve the goals that officials of the republic and the country set. I congratulate Mr Shigabutdinov on his jubilee from my heart. I wish good health, well-being and accomplishment of all shaped plans.

  • Mintimer Shaimiev

    Mintimer Shaimiev First Tatarstan President, State Adviser of the Republic of Tatarstan

    Mr Shigabutdinov is a successful manager, a worldwide known businessman. The biggest petrochemical enterprises of CIS countries and Europe are concentrated in TAIF company that he chairs. His name has been closely associated with TAIF for a long time. But, as I like to repeat, everything has a reason – Mr Shigabutdinov's modern-day achievements – are a logical result of the lasting work from an early age. Probably few people know that he started to work when he was at school: he fattened sheep, bull calves. Part of the revenue was spent on radio components – he was keen on radio business, he reassembled receivers, made transmitters. He sat at the wheel of his own bike when he was in the seventh or eighth grade. When his father bought him Druzhba chainsaw, he got a new source of income. The village had wood heating then, three lorries of firewood needed to be sawn for every yard for winter. In brief, he had things to do. Every summer he worked in a student construction brigade during his university years. He was an ordinary worker first, then a commissar and commander later. And a commander was the organiser of the whole brigade's work, the manager. Of course, by the beginning of his working career, after graduating from the Kazan Aviation Institute, Albert had a significant advantage over his peers as well as older people who did not have such ''workers' universities''.

    In 1970, as minister of land development and water resources of the republic, we seriously started the construction of irrigation systems in big areas, creation of irrigated cultivated pastures to have a firm food reserve for animal husbandry. We managed to ask the Ministry of Water Resources of Russia to finance the construction of two specialised vegetable state farms – Narmonsky in Laishevo District and Voroshilovsky in Tukay District. There used to be a big problem with vegetables in open ground in the republic. We managed to create not only irrigation systems but also modern settlements of these state farms within three years. Numerous delegations visited Narmonka then, it was put as an example everywhere. The enterprise became the main garden of our capital before Perestroika. Gilfan Vafin was the director in the 1977-1988s, and hard-working and shy guy Albert Shigabutdinov was his deputy.

    Years passed, the 90s came. It was an uneasy time for the residents of Russia and Tatarstan. Turbulent events in political life, the crisis in the economy, changes in social psychology… Russian industry was switching to market relations step by step. A need for an industrial and investment company with a professional personnel, mobile and flexible and management form, good production potential that is able to make several big regional investment programmes real was keenly felt in the republic during the uneasy time. TAIF PJSC that was a new property form in the republic combining public, state and foreign capitals was created considering it all in 1995. The young company arose with the skeleton staff of Kazan Foreign Trade Scientific and Production Association. Young but mature and experienced enough Albert Shigabutdinov was its director general. He was the person who was appointed as head of new TAIF association.

    In the beginning, the company aspired to invest in those spheres of the economy whose absence or underdevelopment seriously scotched market transformations in the republic. For instance, the absence of quick and quality communication. The company started to create a modern telecommunication market including multimedia services. They launched projects of mobile and conventional networks, created satellite television. Or, let's say, when we were reconstructing and building the crude oil refinery complex, it became obvious that Tatarstan didn't have modern construction capacities. And such companies were created. So was it – one by one.

    While developing, the company faced another very serious problem – an acute shortage of qualified specialists. We created a personnel preparation programme that also included studying abroad. We got skilled specialists, but no such luck. These specialists suddenly started going abroad and to Moscow. Few people went due to their salary whose size has always been at a decent level in the company. It turned out that the absence of conditions for a normal life was the main reason: there were neither quality medical service, nor due service, nor modern leisure and entertainment activities in the city during those years.

    This is why it was made a decision to develop the services as well. They started to build residential complexes with a protected territory with shops, swimming pools, hairdressing salons. In 2002, the company constructed Pyramid Culture and Leisure Complex with a multipurpose hall, restaurant, fitness club, beauty and health salons, bowling, which is popular now in Kazan.

    Petrochemistry and oil refining is the main point of entry of the company, of course. The company makes over 90% of products of the chemical, petrochemical and oil and gas refining sectors of Tatarstan.

    The current modern level of production capacities of the Group's enterprises is a successful implementation of a smart investment strategy of the TAIF team, concerted joint work of specialists of the company and workers of all interested enterprises and services of the republic. TAIF constantly moves and continues investing its own and borrowed money in the further development of the oil and petrochemical complex of the republic. Investments in the enterprises of TAIF Group of Companies are estimated at thousands of billion rubles. In its work, the group bets on innovations. The focus on the structural transformation of gas and petrochemical factories, provision of high oil conversion rate and creation of a big petrochemical complex with many conversion products is clearly seen.

    Probably economists will tell about economic achievements of TAIF in detail. I will emphasise one thing: TAIF is also the biggest taxpayer. For instance, the sum of tax payments and duties paid by TAIF Group of Companies to all budget levels in 2016 totalled 60bn rubles. In addition, 33,2bn rubles were sent for charity and sponsorship.

    The company completely proves its mottoForce For Good– everything created by the company works for the good of the republic and its residents.

    Participation of TAIF Group of Companies in the revival of ancient Bolgar and island-city of Sviyazhsk is an illustrative example of it. TAIF was one of the first to join the accomplishment of the project in June 2010. A complex of buildings of treasury constructions of the late 19 th-early 20th centuries was already restored and reconstructed in May 2011 by means of the company's efforts and money. Thanks to TAIF PJSC's donation, Renascence Fund managed to hold works to create a history museum of Sviyazhsk. Specialised exhibition multimedia equipment was purchased and installed to equip the museum, exposition materials were made.

    Nowadays TAIF PJSC and Tatneft PJSC jointly are financing the construction of Kul Gali hotel and bath complex in Bolgar – it is an analogue of the historic White Chamber of the 14 th century in Bolgar.

    In 2016, TAIF Group of Companies supported the initiative of the republic's residents to raise money for construction of the Bolgarian Islamic Academy and restoration of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan in Kazan.

    Congratulating dear Mr Shigabutdinov on his 65 th jubilee from my heart, I want to say that he's been a working man from an early age. He always achieves a positive result whichever job he does. He's is a thoughtful, provident owner with a firm character. Such a person is rightly called a ''priceless human capital''. I wish Mr Shigabutdinov, his nearest and dearest health and well-being.

  • Farid Mukhametshin

    Farid Mukhametshin Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan

    His actions tell better for Mr Shigabutdinov than any words. TAIF turned into the biggest multidisciplinary holding that successfully fulfils ambitious investment projects in different sectors of the economy under his management – investments and construction, telecommunications and services, but petrochemistry and oil refining are probably the most important among them.

    Today the company with a 50-year history and a collective of hundreds of professionals manufactures 47% of all ethylene made in the Russian Federation, 52% of all polymers produced in our country, 68% of all rubbers. A long-nurtured dream of our republic came true with Mr Shigabutdinov's direct participation and mainly thanks to his insistence and determination – a shift from crude oil export to its high conversion rate.

    As a concerned and rapt person, initiator of implementation of progressive technologies, Mr Shigabutdinov put a lot of efforts to make TAIF a collective of truly single-minded people. In general, TAIF Group of Companies not only grew and developed together with the market but also influenced its appearance and formation. It's enough to remember that TAIF is one of the first Tatarstan brands, a popular trademark, a symbol of reliability and high-quality job.

    State mind is another feature I'd like to note while speaking about the birthday man. For Mr Shigabutdinov, the concept of ''socially responsible business'' is far from being a simple phrase. In addition, I mean not only the company's big contribution to the republic's budget via tax payments and duties, which are comparable with some regions' budgets at times. TAIF makes a huge contribution to the fulfilment of social ''presidential'' programmes, renders big philanthropic and sponsorship support to educational and social and cultural establishments, actively supports leading Tatarstan sports teams, participates in the restoration of historical and architectural monuments of his native Tatarstan – revival of Bolgar and Sviyazhsk. War veterans, Afghan War veterans, people with disabilities, orphan kids, families in a difficult life situation are under the company's wing.

    Wonderful human qualities – decency, natural modesty, diligence, professionalism and worldly wisdom – help Mr Shigabutdinov carry this heavy suitcase confidently.

    I remember the years of our joint work in the parliament of the republic with pleasure (Editor's Note: Mr Shigabutdinov was elected deputy of the 4 th State Council). As a member of the Committee on Economy, Investments and Entrepreneurship, he actively joined the social, political and legislative activity with his customary energy, worked with voters of his Gagarin district, personally received citizens. Many people noted his non-indifference and sincere desire to help people, understand their problems.

    In a nutshell, I'd say Mr Shigabutdinov dedicated his life to the republic and his own company's interests. On his jubilee day, I sincerely want to wish him good health, family well-being, constant luck in all endeavours and implementation of the bravest ideas and plans.

  • Ilsur Metshin

    Ilsur Metshin Mayor of Kazan

    Dear Mr Shigabutdinov, I congratulate you on your 65 th birthday from my heart!

    TAIF Group of Companies is the leader of the regional economy. Having chaired the company in 1995, you managed to turn it into an economically powerful and social oriented holding that includes over 50 companies from different sectors. Thanks to TAIF GC, factories are updated, new factories open, products that citizens need are made.

    TAIF makes a very important contribution to the city's budget as the biggest taxpayer of Kazan. Numerous programmes that improve the life of citizens of Kazan are fulfilled with your participation. The Derelict Dwelling Elimination Programme, which is unprecedented in itself, became one of the biggest and necessary social and economic programmes in the country. It allowed to get rid of derelict buildings in the city at the time that was uneasy for Kazan and laid the foundation for its future progressive development. Thousands of people who need to improve their living conditions are moving to new, bright flats today thanks to the Social Mortgage Programme that is also accomplished with TAIF GC's considerable contribution.

    Many projects that led the capital of Tatarstan to a new world-level became real with your support. Kazan decently welcomed the Millennium in 2005. The University Games whose heritage allowed to make a big step forward in the city's development was staged at a high level in 2013. These events have already been written down in Kazan's great history.

    And today the city continues transforming with your support. Renewed The Pinery park opened, restoration of almost host lakes in Lebyazhye parkland is held. These are just a few examples of the projects that the citizens will thank you for – it's just impossible to enumerate all of them. Your company sends tens of billion rubles for charity.

    Different residential, sports, social and cultural facilities built by your company are the city's adornment today. Some of them like Pyramid Culture and Leisure Complex or Kekin's House became Kazan's landmarks a long time ago. And the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, which is erected now, will become a new significant facility across Russia.

    Due to your support, athletes from Sintez WC, Dynamo-Kazan, TAIF SC raised cherished winners' cups above their head. I'm convinced that our another favourite team – Rubin FC – will also have victories. Looking at them, boys and girls of Kazan come closer to the sport and healthy lifestyle.

    I thank you for the huge contribution of TAIF GC to Kazan's development. I wish luck and happiness to you and your family and progressive and effective development to your company! May the force be still for the good!

  • Dmitry Konov

    Dmitry Konov Chairman of the Board of Directors of SIBUR CJSC

    I've known Mr Shigabutdinov well for many years already. I'd not point out only one decision of the director general of TAIF PJSC. I suppose the development of the petrochemical sector in Tatarstan, which is the leader among the Russian regions, Mr Shigabutdinov's big merit. Such a growth was achieved by making serious decisions in a period that was uneasy for the country in the early 2000s.

    Kazanorgsintez's strategic programme was created then, plans for Nizhnekamskneftekhim were accomplished. Probably the depth and importance of Mr Shigabutdinov's decisions were not obvious at that moment. The petrochemical sector required big costs and considerable investments. Few people were able to run a risk and invest money in this sphere. But TAIF under Mr Shigabutdinov dared. And today the republic yields fruits from his actions.

    Albert Shigabutdinov's management style can be characterised as a combination of delegation and deep immersion in a topic. I've never seen any discussion of problems when he didn't an opinion or good analysis that had been prepared. There are strong people, a team he gathers around himself in different areas. There are authoritative experts who make decisions on their own, but Mr Shigabutdinov also knows key aspects of projects that are discussed.

    I acquainted with Mr Shigabutdinov in an original way. The meeting took place when SIBUR was actively developing petrochemistry. We just had ideas growing into first steps. Meanwhile, petrochemical production in Tatarstan was finishing the fulfilment of the project.

    Mr Shigabutdinov chaired, led, made up and controlled the work of all petrochemical production in the republic. I couldn't stop thinking about one thing: ''How great they did it.'' I felt respect for Mr Shigabutdinov for the achievements that were made.

    The game we participate with TAIF in is rather chess than a fight. We were on different sides of the chess board for some time. Then we understood we played a game where not TAIF was against SIBUR but SIBUR was against TAIF. Actually, we participate in a big chess tournament where Russian petrochemistry – SIBUR, TAIF and other companies – play against other world opponents.

    We understand that we come across and compete with TAIF in some markets, in projects. This is why we look like opponents. But in the end, we try to make our sector globally competitive, I'm sorry for the banal word, and increase its role in the country's economy. At the end of the day, we are partners.

  • Christian Bruch

    Christian Bruch Member of the Executive Board of Linde AG

    Albert Shigabutdinov has an impressive track record of very strategic choices he made to the best social and economic development of the Republic of Tatarstan. Besides building up and strengthening a vital network of more than 40 subsidiary and associated companies of the TAIF Group, he made strong forward-looking decisions like the development of TAIF-NK PSC to go ahead along the strategic plan adopted by the Government of the Russian Federation and be the first enterprise in Russia to have accomplished a 100% transition to EURO-5 diesel fuel production.

    Albert Shigabutdinov is an extremely proficient executive manager. His style is very thoughtful, cooperative, and strongly target-oriented. Albert Shigabutdinov plays effective in the short game, but never loses focus on the long game. He is continuously building up strong, dynamic and experience managers to lead the TAIF Group and affiliate companies.

    We had an exciting joint endeavor in developing and delivering a hydrogen plant to TAIF-NK as part of the fuel production upgrade project. The cooperation between TAIF and Linde was an outstanding success, with a flawless project and great performance. Our most recent joint venture is the development of the New Olefin Complex for Nizhnekamskneftekhim. Mainly the wise guidance of Albert Shigabutdinov made it possible to elaborate potent project plans with a sharp price and greatest chances of success.

    Over the last two years we managed to build a closer relationship with Albert Shigabutdinov and got to know him as a very trustworthy and reliable business partner. The signing ceremony for the strategic cooperation between TAIF and Linde as well as the contract for the EP-600 contract between NKNK witnessed by President Putin and President Minnikhanov at the Economic Forum in St Petersburg earlier this year was a very memorable moment. I hope that our relationship keeps developing further which will allow us to have more of these special moments in the future.

  • Ichiro Inagaki

    Ichiro Inagaki Managing Director of Infrastructure Projects at Mitsui & Co. LTD

    Mr. Albert Shigabutdinov always pays attention for potential growth, targeting to catch future opportunities on timely manner. The recent executed projects, for example, construction of Bisphenol-A and Polycarbonate plants based on Japanese technologies at Kazanorgsintez, Polystyrene plant at Nizhnekamskneftekhim, the Veba Combi Cracker project which is under final steps of commissioning at TAIF-NK.

    All of them created an industrial base for production of high-end petrochemical products which are in high demand in both Russian and abroad. Such decisions to start capital intensive and significant projects created new job places and new cash flows which bring contribution to the budget of the Republic of Tatarstan via tax paying.

    We know Mr. Albert Shigabutdinov as a thoughtful leader and wise man. One of his great characteristics is that he deeply studies all the issues related to both operating management at existing plants, and new projects. Mr. Albert Shigabutdinov management style is just and practical, it is directed to quick solving of problems and tasks.

    We cooperate with TAIF Group from 90s, and we highly appreciate our strong and friendship relations jointly built during that time with TAIF team and Mr. Shigabutdinov personally. We are happy to co-work with highly professional leader who is always ready to take responsibility for his decisions and keeps his promises given to partners.

  • Talgat Abdullin

    Talgat Abdullin Executive Director of State Housing Fund under Tatarstan President Non-Commercial Organisation, 5th Tatarstan State Council deputy

    I acquainted with Mr Shigabutdinov when he was working as specialist in construction. Our communication also went on during his work in Tatarstan Fishery. We acquainted better when Kazan foreign trade association was created. Mr Shigabutdinov is a person with rich life experience, he learnt working moments in practice, not in theory.

    The creation of Santel GSM mobile provider was a big breakthrough. The appearance of a new mobile network in Tatarstan was an impulse for the development of other corresponding elements of telephony and improvement of the republic's economy, in general. As time went by, opponents of the federal level appeared in the mobile network market such as MTS. It became clear that small companies could be illegally taken over, we urgently needed to make a decision on Santel's further fate.

    I think that then Mr Shigabutdinov chose a good decision by selling the mobile network company. He made it when the enterprise was at the peak of its growth when a handful of people understood what's going on in world telephony. The first money appeared after selling Santel that Mr Shigabutdinov was going to invest in TAIF's further development.

    We discussed many working issues together. I remember how Mr Shigabutdinov and Mr Sulteyev came to my house in Kekin's House and raised the topic of the area where the money could be invested in. Then I said to them: ''Friends, look how humankind developed: the Wooden Age was first, then Bronze, Iron, and now – it is plastic. We needed to created plastic. Though there were many other sectors that were profitable to develop.''

    At that moment Mr Shigabutdinov chose the right track. Tatarstan was more a resource republic, he was the person who bet on oil refining. Feedstock for plastic production appeared on the basis of refining, polycarbonate and rubber production was put into operation. Today TAIF is the world leader in some positions. He is a 100% monopolist in some product types. TAIF is an economic pearl of not only the Republic of Tatarstan but also the whole world.

    I think now Mr Shigabutdinov should think of new steps now. The world doesn't sleep, it's full of plastic we can't take it out of the seas, it is in bodies of water, soil. Creation of bioplastic can become the next step.

    Mr Shigabutdinov created a unique company built on the system of regulations based on the legislature. TAIF GC united collectives of different enterprises that become a powerful engine for development of Tatarstan's economy. Mr Shigabutdinov is a reliable person. If he's convinced of something, it's difficult to influence his opinion. His beliefs are based on a detailed analysis of the matter. He often speaks about only the top of the iceberg but also knows about the part underwater.

    Mr Shigabutdinov's character hasn't changed since our first acquaintance. In general, he is a man of few words, he doesn't like to teach others. But circumstances sometimes make him do it. Mr Shigabutdinov is quite liberal when people make mistakes. Of course, he could be indignant. But I've never seen him make personal remarks. He is a correct person. Even if somebody is not right, he will start the conversation in a very roundabout way. He will give a person an opportunity to fix, without waiting for a conclusion.

    Mr Shigabutdinov is sensitive to the needs of workers of the enterprises. When the Derelict Dwelling Elimination Programme was launched in Tatarstan, Mr Shigabutdinov immediately took action. He understood the importance of this issue. We agreed two years ago that we would build over 5,600 flats above the target for TAIF workers. Workers paid the dwellings in part, the enterprises of TAIF GC did the other part. The construction volume grew, a housing problem was solved in factories.

    On Mr Shigabutdinov's jubilee day, I wish him, first of all, good health! May the fortitude remain with him, may luck that he attracts himself accompany him everywhere!

  • Rustem Sulteyev

    Rustem Sulteyev First Deputy Director General of TAIF PJSC, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TAIF PJSC

    Over 35 years of joint work connect me and Mr Shigabutdinov – we started to work together in Kazan Foreign Trade Scientific and Production Association, created TAIF and develop, increase the power of our common child with a friendly and united team of single-minded people – TAIF Group of Companies – till now.

    It was a very complicated time in the early 90s when our generation only joined business. Looking for our niche in the market during the first years, we intuitively aspired to invest in those spheres of the economy whose absence or underdevelopment seriously scotched market transformations. Today, with the benefit of hindsight, I think it's impossible to point out which decisions made by Mr Shigabutdinov are very important for the republic's economy and which – are less.

    I'm convinced that all decisions made by Director General of TAIF PJSC Albert Shigabutdinov are not only important but historically important to a certain degree because they all were dictated by the time, situation in the country and the republic's needs. For instance, at the beginning of our activity, we started to create modern telecommunication services understanding that we couldn't help but have quick and quality communication as a market entity too: we launched projects of mobile and conventional network first, then created satellite television and multimedia network, including cable television. The same happened to the construction industry: in 1996, when Meta-TAIF subsidiary company was created, it built two 12-storeyed brick houses in record time – they were one of the best of that time. Over 2,000 flats were built to move native citizens of Kazan from the slums! We also started our activity in the oil refining sector, investments, securities and so on – we can enumerate for long – in an analogous way. We developed, and promotion of one project attracted, created other small and big projects whose implementation solved some topical social problems. Consequently, the republic's economy actively developed, including via projects fulfilled by TAIF Group of Companies.

    Albert Shigabutdinov is a production man, creator in spirit. We teamed up because of our similar views on life – I like people who are patriotic in blood, who really love their Fatherland, their birthplace and do the best, so that people will live better. Mr Shigabutdinov is a person who values his name, and his words don't separate from his actions in any circumstances. Speaking of his management style, I can say Mr Shigabutdinov is a unique person. He is a very competent and smart manager who has a firm character and huge potential of a creator, talented organiser, a smart and decent person who knows how to listen to and hear other people, consider their opinion. It is a true generator of ideas that is able to know the situation several steps ahead – Mr Shigabutdinov has an amazing professional intuition that helps him successfully rule one of the biggest multidisciplinary holdings in the Russian Federation for over 25 years together with his outstanding professional qualities and huge life experience.

    We go a long way back with Mr Shigabutdinov, so to speak. This is why I can say from my heart that it's difficult to find a more decent and honest person, reliable friend who has been checked by decades of joint work. I know that I can count on Mr Shigabutdinov's support and help in any life situation. And if you trust your business partner, your friend and single-minded person one hundred per cent, if you absolutely believe him, the joint work is great joy and satisfaction. Mr Shigabutdinov has always been and remains our undoubted leader, ideological mastermind, the person who unites and leads a huge collective of thousands of people to new professional heights. If we look at the results of our joint work, the projects fulfilled by TAIF Group of Companies during all time of our existence, you understand how right Mr Shigabutdinov was when he managed to assure us there was nothing impossible for those who know how to work and go towards their goal many years ago, at the beginning of our work, when he gathered a team of single-minded people who were interested in the common idea.

    I won't be able to point out any story from our work, you know. Mr Shigabutdinov and I spend as much time together as I don't spend with my family. If we sometimes came across only because of our work, some stories would probably have etched on my memory. But we are together almost all time. We just work shoulder to shoulder for the good of our common business, for the good of our republic.

  • Ilgiz Latypov

    Ilgiz Latypov Deputy Director General of TAIF PJSC on Construction and Major Overhaul

    I've known Mr Shigabutdinov since 1996. We met first in TAIF's office on Mushtari Street. Then a clear goal of fulfiling the derelict dwelling elimination programme was set to the construction group. TAIF directly participated in it: we constructed the first houses in Azino district, Gorky.

    The construction of Pyramid Culture and Leisure Complex started in 1996. And the erection of the first house of the club on Airport Street kicked off the following day. Even today the house on Airport Street is one of the few houses where flats of superior category, parking, restaurant, gym and swimming pool are under one roof. It has its own boiler room and artesian well. Thanks to it, the house is autonomous and depends on municipal mains as little as possible.

    It should be noted that TAIF always uses only advanced materials and technologies in construction. Yes, costs increase a bit but they pay back fast. Having invested money today, we will save on a building's maintenance tomorrow. This year we've built an office on 76 Pushkin Street. While making its design, we aspired to fit the office centre into the historical environment of Kazan and also looked for energy saving technologies that are able to reduce the building's energy consumption.

    Mr Shigabutdinov is a person who cares about tomorrow! I can say with confidence now that as time goes by Mr Shigabutdinov's success and achievements work more for the good of society and people. He aspired to improve every employee's life quality and make a contribution to the social policy of the republic. Mr Shigabutdinov can be called a diplomat with a capital D. He managed to foresee a situation, he feels his interlocutor's attitude and mood well.

    Mr Shigabutdinov's competence level, his ability to instantaneously evaluate a situation and understand the heart of the problem always surprise me. Thanks to my familiarity with him, I got into the habit of delving into a matter and calculating all possible consequences of the decision that was made two steps ahead. When complicated situations arise during negotiations, Mr Shigabutdinov takes a back seat and talks on other topics. And we suddenly come to a solution of the problematic issue from a completely different angle only 30-40 minutes later.

    On his birthday, I wish Mr Shigabutdinov health for many years! I would like to continue working under his strong leadership solving ambitious tasks, participating in the construction of interesting and unique facilities. May all projects he shaped become real!

  • Azat Bikmurzin

    Azat Bikmurzin Director General of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC

    The union of the main petrochemical companies of TAIF GC under Mr Shigabutdinov's management allowed to successfully solve many problems, first of all, provide the republic's industrial enterprises with feedstock. One of the important questions on provision with energy resources was solved with his participation. Entrance to the wholesale energy market as well as the purchase of generating capacities, which are part of TGC-16 today, enabled to increase the energy efficiency of the TAIF GC enterprises and Nizhnekamskneftekhim, in particular. Today TAIF coordinates inside the group of companies, which are a single resource and energy chain, in fact. The connection of balanced dots – from generating capacities and feedstock supply to full conversion cycle and production supply to end consumers – allows to successfully accomplish production tasks. Cooperation with Tatneft was established with Mr Shigabutdinov's participation. The mutually beneficial cooperation helps us accomplish joint projects.

    Albert Shigabutdinov has great administrative skills, he has the foresight to see pitfalls and ability to calculate the outcome of a decision. He is a talented manager, he was born to become a diplomat and strategist. He clearly sets tasks and controls their performance. He can be figuratively compared with a chess grandmaster who doesn't rush to make a step. And if he makes it, he does it in a thoughtful and conscious way, which brings a victory in the end. In 2005, Albert Shigabutdinov was elected chairman of the Board of Directors of Nizhnekamskneftekhim. The managing tandem with Vladimir Busygin was life-changing for the enterprise to fulfil its further development programme based on the production of high-demand upstream goods and sustainable profitability growth. Now a serious task on the fulfilment of the company's strategic development programme, erection of a new olefin complex with a total capacity of 1,2 million tonnes of ethylene a year is carried out with Mr Shigabutdinov's involvement, which will give rise to further conversion chains of petrochemical and their delivery to end consumers.

    He actively participates in all aspects of Nizhnekamskneftekhim's work paying great attention to the social component of our activity. Thanks to his support, we launched our own housing programme. 982 petrochemists have got flats since it was created. The enterprise participates in all social programmes to improve the urban infrastructure.

    Dear Mr Shigabutdinov,

    I sincerely congratulate you on your birthday. On such a solemn day, I wish you good health, inexhaustible energy and courage, I hope you will achieve all set goals. You belong to the category of people who command sincere respect thanks to the qualities of a highly effective and successful manager who is able to achieve the most ambitious goals. Your aim at a result and ability to achieve it are a role model. I sincerely want to thank you for the weighty contribution to Nizhnekamskneftekhim's development, active support of the projects that are important for our collective. I believe your determination, self-discipline and exacting requirements for others in combination with worldly wisdom and optimism will favour successful labour for the good of TAIF Group of Companies and all country further on.

    I wish you a good mood, happiness and well-being. May warm-heartedness, support of friends and colleagues, the nearest and dearest fill your life like before, good luck in all endeavours!

  • Rushan Shamgunov

    Rushan Shamgunov Director General of TAIF-NK PJSC

    Today Mr Shigabutdinov is considered one of the most experienced and authoritative top managers whose energy, versatile knowledge and organisational skills enable to successfully perform tasks aimed at an uninterrupted movement forward, fulfilment of the biggest projects. All history of the creation of TAIF PJCS is a highlight in the formation of the regional economy. The company that was founded during a difficult period of transition chose gas and oil refining and petrochemistry as a priority area. The absence of a complicated technological chain of oil refining affected the development of Tatarstan and Russia's economy, in general. The creation of the company is not separable from the formation of the Republic of Tatarstan's industrial complex.

    The first stone was laid into the foundation of the Heavy Residues Deep Conversion Complex in November 2012. It's a large-scale strategic project based on Veba Combi Cracking innovative unit. Launching the HRDCC, Tatarstan will become the pioneer in implementing the new heavy residues conversion technology and getting one of the most effective factories where new-generation oil refining will give a serious impetus in order to augment new capacities, strengthen the stability and open prospects for the republic's development.

    Mr Shigabutdinov is a very democratic manager: he always gives an opportunity to take an initiative, helps with a piece of advice in any situation, leads to making right decisions on strategically important projects. A huge job, modern approach, fidelity to principles, organisational skills and wonderful business and human qualities are behind quality results.

    It should be noted that his skill of feeling the time, seeing a prospect and building a strategy works to get a result. All his work record is an invaluable contribution to the development of the industrial business of the Republic of Tatarstan. Mr Shigabutdinov invests not only in TAIF's fixed capital but in people – they're the biggest asset. The construction of social dwellings for the employees goes on, the workers are provided with a stable high salary level.

    The teamwork headed by Albert Shigabutdinov allows the Group of Companies to achieve big results. The motto Force for Good unites TAIF Group of Companies and accurately reflects the mission – to directly favour the improvement of the state of the economy, social sphere of the Republic of Tatarstan and well-being of its residents.

  • Farid Minigulov

    Farid Minigulov Director General of Kazanorgsintez PJSC

    Mr Shigabutdinov's life was closely connected with Tatarstan's petrochemical sector in the early 90s already. All actions of TAIF officials, including very Mr Shigabutdinov, were designed to improve the republic's prosperity. As a director, Mr Shigabutdinov is strict enough, however, he's already ready to understand ordinary human problems. At the same time, it doesn't mean he is ready to accept laxity and irresponsibility.

    He is always very scrupulous in making decisions. I've often heard him say: ''Every detail is important in work''. And I agree with this statement. The management style of the director general of TAIF PJSC can be called very thoughtful. Hasty decisions aren't made even if there is a critical shortage of time.

    The development programme of Kazanorgsintez, which was adopted in 2004 and created together with TAIF officials, was fulfilled within 4 years. New factories were built, current factories were reconstructed. A basic order was established…

    Production volumes grew in the enterprise, income increased and production quality improved. Kazanorgsintez's achievements are the consequence of our collective's labour, administration of our shareholders, the presence of a clear development strategy of the enterprise, rightly chosen priorities and new prospective investment projects.

    Taking the advantage, I congratulate Mr Shigabutdinov on his 65 th birthday. I wish him inexhaustible energy, optimism and good health. May happiness, family well-being and success in work be his companions of life!

  • Kamil Yusupov

    Kamil Yusupov Chairperson of the management board of Avers Bank PLC

    Much of what TAIF does is done in the republic for the first time. Tatarstan economy would look very differently if not the system work of TAIF Group and personally Albert Kashafovich during all these 25 years. Tatarstan today makes a great contribution in terms of the volume of industrial production as well as gross regional product growth.

    Albert Kashafovich is a talented, strong leader, who always thoroughly analyzes all the circumstances of the market before taking any decision. Existing difficulties in the market have never stopped him, he has the ability to see possibilities and to think big in every project. The chosen development strategy again makes all group companies to find new niches and new markets, to reach new heights.

    His human qualities impress me: despite the fact that he is the head of the largest Russian company with projects of international scale, Albert Kashafovich is a very modest man, with sensitive and attentive attitude to people, he never tries to make an impression — honest, open and thoroughly decent man.

    Albert Kashafovich, I congratulate you on the anniversary, wish you every success in the bravest ideas and plans, good health and prosperity!

  • Eduard Galeyev

    Eduard Galeyev Director General of TGC-16 JSC

    The name of Albert Kashafovich is largely associated with positive changes in energy sector of the Republic of Tatarstan. Seven years ago, when it was implemented a reform in electric power industry of the region, the republican leadership paid attention to the desires of major customers and sold three power plants, two of them were acquired in ownership by TAIF PSC. Subsequently, life confirmed the correctness of this choice. The situation in the industry at the time was stalemate. Seven years ago, tariffs for heat for industrial companies were so high that this could lead to a shutdown of petrochemical plants and refineries, which in turn would negatively affect the population of the republic. The cost of all resources for residents threatened a strong growth and the socio-economic situation — a sharp deterioration.

    TAIF PSC fount itself confronted with the question: either the company would build its own power plants or buy the existing ones. If the construction of own generation, which would satisfy the needs of industrial enterprises of the company, would not be so onerous in resource terms, but purchase of existing energy sources demanded serious financial investments. However, the company not only acquired sources for heat and power supply for their businesses, but also provided their in-depth modernization.

    Undoubtedly, it is impossible not to mention the launch of the new unit at Kazan CHPP-3 this summer. It is thanks to strategic thinking of Albert Kashafovich, his ability to be proactive, this project has been realized. The power unit with the turbine of this type — the first in Russia.

    There are only five such turbines worldwide. As a result of commissioning of the gas turbine plant into operation, the capacity of Kazan CHPP-3 doubled, and the shortage of electricity in Tatarstan decreased. Moreover, the project significantly improved the reliability of power supply of Kazan consumers.

    On behalf of the entire staff of TGC-16 I want to congratulate Albert Kashafovich with the anniversary! We wish him good health, great mood, professional success, great decisions and new achievements! Let the energy of happiness and good luck, which he himself generates, accompany in all his affairs!

  • Radik Gayzatullin

    Radik Gayzatullin Minister of Finance of the Republic of Tatarstan

    On behalf of all financiers of the republic and me personally I congratulate Albert Shigabutdinov Kashafovich with such a significant date — the 65th birthday anniversary!

    Today TAIF is a major budget-forming company, which annually provides stable economic growth of all indicators, including budget revenues. As Finance Minister, I am grateful to TAIF Group of Companies and personally Albert Kashafovich for that today revenues to the consolidated budget of the republic are consistently provided. Annual payments of five major companies of TAIF Group for the last five years has increased almost 1,5 times and amounted to 18 billion rubles.

    I also want to say a few words about the personality of Albert Kashafovich. I met him in 2000. Since then, our joint work continues. From 2001 to 2009, I was a member of the Board of Directors of Kazanorgsintez PJSC, and from 2006 and to this day I have been a member of the Board of Directors of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC. Over the years of joint work, I know him as a very visionary person, thinking outside the box, as well as a very strong strategist.

    Over the years of fruitful work, Albert Kashafovich has gathered a very strong team of professionals, which indicates his unmatched leadership qualities. He has earned the respect as an innovator, a creative person. He never rests on his laurels and always works on improving the approaches and processes in the companies he leads. Every year TAIF Group of Companies sets new intense and ambitious goals, which are successfully realized. It is the reconstruction of large plants, commissioning of new lines, modernization of enterprises. The successes of the company are the merit of the talented leader, professional in his field. In TAIF Group of Companies — this man is Albert Kashafovich.

    What is more, it is impossible not to note that Albert Kashafovich is a person of high moral integrity. This is mainly indicated by the fact that the company implements charity projects and numerous social programs for the benefit of our population.

    Today I would like to wish Albert Kashafovich health, energy, active fruitful work, new creative ideas and future projects. Let TAIF remain the most important company in the economy sectors headed by Albert Kashafovich for many other years.

  • Artem Zdunov

    Artem Zdunov Economy Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan

    In my opinion, the choice of Albert Shigabutdinov and his team at the stage of formation of TAIF Group of introduction of innovations as priority areas, where rapid development is impossible without application of new developments, is undoubtedly a determining factor in the preservation of industrial potential of Tatarstan and in the history of development of the regional economy. Time has shown that TAIF Group has chosen the right vector of development.

    I would describe Albert Kashafovich primarily as a charismatic leader, and would complement the description with the qualities such as flexibility, adaptability, receptivity to innovations, high level of social responsibility. All these inherent qualities in the end determine the success of his management, as well as high efficiency of TAIF Group. If to describe the management style of Albert Kashafovich according to the principles (using the terminology) of management, I would call his management style democratic or collegial.

    I wouldn't like to tell about joint work with Albert Kashafovich in the past tense. The ministry of economy successfully cooperates and, hopefully, will continue to work in cooperation with TAIF Group of Companies in the future. From 2012, one of 27 innovative regional clusters of federal significance — the Kama Innovative Territorial and Production Cluster, specializing in oil refining and petrochemical industry, automotive industry – has successfully operated in the Republic of Tatarstan. The core of the cluster is the enterprises of oil refining and petrochemistry of TAIF Group such as Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, TAIF-NK PSC, Tatneftekhiminvest-holding JSC, the petrochemical complex of Tatneft PJSC. Nizhnekamsneftekhim PJSC, being the anchor company of the cluster, produces a wide range of petrochemical products and send it for further processing, which is important for us, including for small and medium-sized businesses.

    As I have mentioned, we cooperate with TAIF Group of Companies in the framework of KITPC. Today, the potential of TAIF Group of Companies focuses on large-scale projects for modernization of the petrochemical industry. In the framework of the activity of the companies of the petrochemical industry at Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, TAIF-NK PSC, Kazanorgsintez PJSC, it has been implemented major investment projects of strategic importance for the development of chemical, petrochemical and refining industries of our republic and the country. Currently we are facing a common task of removing infrastructure constraints of the territory Innokam to ensure that all investment plans of the enterprises, especially of TAIF Group, were performed efficiently and on schedule.

  • Vladimir Leonov

    Vladimir Leonov Minister of Youth Affairs and Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan

    Albert Kashafovich, let me express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for providing support in implementation of sports and youth projects. Thanks to you, the republic can be proud of its young generation, sports achievements and successes.

    Albert Kashafovich, your professionalism, willpower, wisdom, responsibility, determination to win are no doubt deserve respect. Behind your success there is strong character, patience and dedication. Your life and achievements, for which you rightfully have been awarded high titles and awards, are the unchanged authority, an example for young people and the public.

    On this big day, I sincerely wish you happiness, health, prosperity, peace and harmony, inexhaustible energy and success in your fruitful activities so necessary for the population of Tatarstan.

  • Ilshat Aminov

    Ilshat Aminov Director General of the broadcasting company Novy Vek JSC

    It is difficult to overestimate the contribution of Albert Kashafovich and TAIF Group in the economy of Tatarstan. Over the past 22 years, the holding has built in the republic dozens of factories in the industries such as petrochemistry, oil refining, telecommunications and construction. Albert Kashafovich makes great demands on employees and, at the same time, have great confidence in them. Having assigned a person to lead a serious project, he won't control his or her every move. But if one fails to justify the confidence of Albert Kashafovich, then it will be very difficult to work with him.

    I remember how we started TNV, he invited me to his place and spoke about how he was seeing the commercial objectives of our channel and how much it was to earn. I could not agree with his opinion, did not believe that a bilingual television in Tatarstan was able to generate a large income and refused to sign a financial plan.

    I said then, ''Albert Kashafovich, it is impossible. I'm telling you this as a professional, as a person who knows the market. Given the content of our channel, bilingualism, we will never be able to earn as much.''

    Albert Kashafovich surprised me with his confidence, he replied, ''The only way to reach the possible is to set an impossible task.''

    Perhaps, this is his life motto. Before adopting the financial plan for TNV, we met with Albert Kashafovich three times. During each meeting, he calmly and patiently tried to convince me of his rightness, we discussed the development of the channel for hours.

    In the end, reluctantly, I signed the financial plan for the next three years. The amazing thing is that after three years we really reached the financial performance that had been set. Albert Kashafovich was right, and when I told him about this, he said, ''You know, Ilshat, I thought you would make much more: exceed the indicators two times.''

    It would seem that television for Albert Kashafovich is unknown industry. However, he knows the laws of business and he is able to convince people, fill them with energy and belief that anything is possible. In spite of everything you start to achieve the impossible. The human being has unknown to him reserves.

    Albert Kashafovich has a terrific flair. Let's take the story of the construction of the plant for production of polycarbonates. Many tried to dissuade him from launching this product, they claimed that in Russia there was no market, the country was heavily dependent on Western raw materials. Albert Kashafovich analyzed the industry of polycarbonate production, visited the factories that produce it. He took responsibility and insisted that the new product had potential and he would be in demand. Today, polycarbonate is one of the most demanded products of Kazanorgsintez.

    I wish Albert Kashafovich health and success to him and his team, whom he energizes with positive changes, progress.

  • Aydar Metshin

    Aydar Metshin Mayor of the city of Nizhnekamsk

    Albert Kashafovich is the man who managed through great abilities, the aptitude to lead and define strategy to achieve much, to gain respect in the wider business community in Russia and far beyond its borders. To realize large-scale production tasks, and they are many in the treasury of the company, it requires sustainable development. In this regard, TAIF Group today boldly looks to the future, realizing ambitious projects, many of which have no analogues in Russia.

    Meanwhile, TAIF Group is an example of socially responsible business, which conducts an active social policy, implying direct involvement in the programs of regional and urban scales, including on the territory of our city and district. Today, the company is implementing the unprecedented housing programme, paying close attention to the issues of environmental protection, together we implement projects relating to urban beautification of Nizhnekamsk.

    We appreciate the high level of understanding of problems of Nizhnekamsk residents, business and constructive relations with Albert Kashafovich. Without his personal position, active participation, we would not be able to implement projects aimed at improving the quality of life of our citizens.

    On behalf of all Nizhnekamsk citizens, I would like to congratulate Albert Kashafovich with the anniversary and wish him strong health, happiness, family well-being, let your high professional and personal qualities and solid experience continue to contribute to successful implementation of all your plans.

Realnoe Vremya online newspaper