Tatarstan Deputy Prime Minister Albert Karimov dreamed of becoming a helicopter pilot as a child

Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan — Minister of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Tatarstan has turned 45

Candidate of Economic Sciences, Honoured Economist of the Republic of Tatarstan, Everest climber and successful manager. At the age of 22, he became the head of a large investment company, at 25 — aide to the first deputy prime minister of Tatarstan, at 34 — he led the construction project of Khimgrad Technopolis, at 39 — headed one of the key ministries of the republic — of industry and trade. Albert Karimov has celebrated his 45th birthday. The team of Realnoe Vremya joins the congratulations.

Thirst for technology — since childhood

Albert Karimov was born on 23 January, 1976. His father, Anvar Zakievich Karimov, came from a working-class family, by that time he had graduated from the Kazan Aviation School, and later — the Kazan Aviation Institute, later he worked his way up from a technician to a senior engineer at the Radiopribor plant in Kazan. Anvar Karimov, as an active young specialist, was offered first to take komsomol work and then — party administrational work. Until 1990, he was an instructor at the defence industry department at the Tatar Regional Committee.

Albert Karimov was born on January 23, 1976. Photo: twitter.com.himgrad

In 1997, when the future head of the ministry of industry and trade of Tatarstan, Albert Karimov, graduated from the Kazan State Finance and Economics Institute, with a degree in Economic Theory (a diploma with honours, he enrolled in graduate school and in 2000 defended his Ph.D. thesis — editor's note), Anvar Karimov was appointed director general of the department of industry — first deputy chairperson of the state property committee of Tatarstan. In fact, he headed the first specialised structure overseeing the development of industry in post-Soviet Tatarstan. Later, Anvar Karimov became the first deputy minister of economy and industry of the Republic of Tatarstan, and in 2001 — adviser to the minister, simultaneously heading the boards of directors of two Kazan enterprises — Kazancompressormash and Radiopribor.

In January 2005, Anvar Karimov passed away. Only 3 months he did not live to see his 55th birthday, but he managed to pass on to his son his best qualities — loyalty to the republic and willingness to take on new, most difficult tasks, relying only on his own knowledge and strength. Those who know the Karimovs intimately say that Anvar Karimov did not help his son in principle in climbing the career ladder, being fully convinced that everyone should go through the path of mistakes and success on their own.

Albert Karimov's biggest childhood wish was to become a helicopter pilot. Photo: president.tatarstan

In September 2019, in an interview, Albert Karimov admitted that he did not even think about a career as a politician or official as a child. He had a fascination with rotorcraft.

“My greatest desire was to become a pilot. A helicopter pilot. I saw it once, and it made a big impression on me. Since then, I still have this desire. Which, by the way, today, on an amateur basis, I am slowly trying to implement," the deputy prime minister told our colleagues.

Today, the minister does not miss the opportunity to be at the helm of other aircraft. In the summer of 2018, during the visit of the Tatarstan delegation to the Ural Civil Aviation Plant (UZGA), the head of the delegation, Albert Karimov, examined carefully the nuances of aircraft construction technology, got acquainted with the company's line of 19-seat aircraft designed for regional communication and tested the pilot's seat of one of them.

During the visit to the UZGA, Albert Karimov tested the pilot's seat of a regional air service plane. Photo: ural.tatar

Working as a student

Albert Karimov started his career as a student of the Finance and Economics Institute. A year before graduation, in 1996, he headed Bill Circulation Group at TDT-Invest Investment Company. In 1998, he became the executive director of the company and worked in that position until 2001. At the same time, in 1999, he was among the first to enter the presidential programme for training senior management personnel.

In 2001, Karimov left the business in connection with the appointment to the post of aide to the first deputy prime minister of the Republic of Tatarstan (then — Ravil Muratov). In 2002, when the Tatarstan Entrepreneurship Development Agency was established on the initiative of the Cabinet of Ministers, Albert Karimov became the deputy director general of the newly formed structure, which was also engaged in working out the idea of creating the first technopark in the republic. The decision to create the Idea innovation and production technopark was made by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Tatarstan in November 2002. Idea became a kind of pilot platform on a national scale, which was originally built as a commercial structure, involving building relationships with partners on a business basis.

Idea innovation and production technopark began its work in early February 2004. Photo: tpidea

In 2004, with the start of the project, Albert Karimov completely switched to its development, becoming the first deputy chairperson of the management board — director for economics and finance at Idea Innovation and Production Technopark JSC.

In 2004, Albert Karimov took the position of first deputy chairperson of the management board — director for economics and finance at Idea Innovation and Production Technopark JSC. Photo: tpidea

In the spring of 2007, Idea refused subsidies from the republican budget. By 2010, it fully justified all the funds invested in it by Tatarstan. Over 550 companies have grown at the technopark site during its operation. The total number of jobs created at Idea by the current residents exceeds 8,500. Annual tax deductions to the budget of the republic — about 400 million rubles.

The birth of Khimgrad

In 2006, the new structure was created — Idea Capital Management Company JSC, the key task of which was to create and develop the new project: it was decided to launch Khimgrad Technopolis on the territory of the dying enterprise of Tasma. Continuing to work on the development of Idea, Albert Karimov headed the company.

“The project (Khimgrad — editor's note) began in 2006. We started preparing it when we were still working on the development of the Idea innovation and production technopark. At the same time, the leadership of the republic set the task of creating such industrial sites as Khimgrad. At the same time, we were actively engaged in the development of the Alabuga special economic zone, Master Kama industrial park, Idea South-East technopark began its work. There had been no such industrial sites in Kazan," Albert Karimov, the chairperson of the board of directors of Khimgrad JSC, said in an interview with one of the Tatarstan online publications in the summer of 2014.

Implementation of Khimgrad project began in 2006. Photo: Maksim Platonov

The need for such production site was also due to that projects that had grown out of the framework of “business incubators” and technology parks needed a larger territory to establish mass production. The technopolis actually started operating in 2008 and became the first certified industrial park in Russia.

“We started filling the technopolis right away, but it was hard to find so many residents. We had to convince people that very soon there would be a 'garden city' on this site, but it was hard to believe. Tasma had not made any investments in infrastructure and networks in the past 15 years. They were in a terrible condition... We had a large construction site, at the same time, we were engaged in attracting residents, and this was the most difficult and challenging stage of our activity," recalls Albert Karimov.

By 2014, the occupancy of Khimgrad technopolis with the production facilities of resident companies was close to 70%. Photo: sdelanounas

The crisis of 2009 and the sanctions standoff with a number of states around the world added to the difficulties. But things went on, and by 2014, the occupancy of Khimgrad (and this is 131 hectares, with a total area of buildings over 500 thousand square metres), had approached 70%. This led to a more careful approach to the selection of applicants for the right to become residents of the technopolis.

“We worked with our infrastructure elements in conjunction with Idea technopark, with other industrial parks. My colleagues and I have a certain division by sectors, by the size of projects. Therefore, we exchange information and help each other. We looked with other sites, how and from where it would be possible to attract residents. We have certain profile: we work with the processing of polymers and with low-tonnage chemicals, and our main task is to provide the republic with additional processing of chemical products. Therefore, we worked with specialised enterprises, with our large companies," Albert Karimov explained 7 years ago.

The technopolis and its residents closely cooperate with the largest oil and gas processors of the republic, manufacturers of chemical and petrochemical products, primarily such as the companies of TAIF Group.

In 2014, Albert Karimov was awarded the title of Honoured Economist of the Republic of Tatarstan. Photo: tp_idea

The effectiveness of the work of Albert Karimov was evaluated by the leadership of Tatarstan. In February 2014, he was awarded the title of Honoured Economist of the Republic of Tatarstan. The experience gained at the sites of Idea technopark and Khimgrad technopolis is now being transferred to other projects being created both in Tatarstan and abroad.

From first days — in active work

On 22 November, 2015, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov signed the decree on the change of leadership in one of the ministries of the Republic of Tatarstan. The post of deputy prime minister of the Republic of Tatarstan — minister of industry and trade (with the prefix acting) was taken by 39-year-old Albert Karimov. On November 24, he was introduced to the staff of the ministry of industry and trade.

On November 23, 2015, the new minister was introduced to the staff of the ministry of industry and trade of the Republic of Tatarstan. Photo: prav.tatar.ru

“We evaluate people based on their experience. It was very difficult to develop a project like Khimgrad. Everything is intertwined there: industry, organisational issues, and contacts with Moscow — all that is necessary for the minister of industry," stressed the then prime minister of the republic, Ildar Khalikov, handing the young minister a symbolic portfolio.

Symbolic ministerial portfolio was presented to Albert Karimov by the prime minister of Tatarstan. Photo: prav.tatar.ru

“Albert Karimov is a prepared specialist," said Chairperson of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tatarstan Shamil Ageev. He stressed that it would not be easy for the new minister, who takes over the affairs of experienced production worker Ravil Zaripov (appointed as aide to the President of the Republic of Tatarstan for the development of the aircraft industry — editor's note). “Today, import substitution is not so important as it is necessary to modernise production facilities and preserve markets," Ageev added.

Albert Karimov has been successfully coping with the tasks assigned to him for the past six years. On December 7, 2015, as part of a delegation led by President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, he went on an official two-day visit to Turkmenistan, where he took part in a meeting with the president, and from there, as part of the delegation that also included the heads of major companies of the republic, such as KAMAZ and TAIF Group, to Qatar, where a number of official meetings with the country's leadership took place.

As soon as he took office, Albert Karimov made a number of official visits. Photo: president.tatarstan

Albert Karimov pays considerable attention to the development of the oil and gas processing and petrochemical industries as the main ones in the industrial production and economy of the republic. For example, on the joint board meeting of the ministry of industry and trade and ministry of economy on the results of 2015, he spoke about the need in a greater support to export-oriented enterprises of the republic during the crisis, including oil and gas refining and petrochemical sector.

Back in 2016, Albert Karimov pointed out the need to provide more support to export-oriented industries in the conditions of the crisis and the growth of the value of currencies. Photo: Maksim Platonov

In March 2016, Albert Karimov presented the deputies of Tatarstan State Council the draft bill 'On industrial policy of the Republic of Tatarstan'. Developed on the basis of the federal law, it determined the vector of further development of the industrial complex of the republic. The draft bill included not only existing support measures, but also a number of new ones, including the creation of a regional industrial development fund for concessional lending to enterprises and a special investment contract on behalf of Tatarstan.

“It is intended to become the basis for the implementation of key instruments of the industrial policy of the Republic of Tatarstan," said the minister of industry and trade of the Republic of Tatarstan.

In March 2016, Albert Karimov presented the deputies of Tatarstan State Council the draft bill 'On industrial policy of the Republic of Tatarstan'. Photo: gossov.tatarstan.ru

A little later, in mid-March 2016, Albert Karimov cited the success of TAIF Group as an example of the success of implementing programmes in the field of energy and resource conservation.

Albert Karimov personally visits the construction sites of newly implemented projects in the republic. At the end of December 2020, he visited Nizhnekamsk on a working trip, where he devoted a significant part of his time to Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC (part of TAIF Group). He paid special attention to the EP-600 olefin complex under construction.

In December 2020, Albert Karimov visited the construction site of the ethylene complex of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC. Photo: Alexander Ilyin

“The investments made, the development that we see today on the site, will create new added value, new products, doubling the facilities of Nizhnekamskneftekhim. The republic will provide all possible support in the implementation of this important project for the economy of the republic. The project should be implemented as planned. This is extremely important for the economy of the Republic of Tatarstan," said the head of the ministry of industry and trade during the inspection of the ethylene complex under construction.

In the last few years, the defence component of the industry has also significantly increased its production volumes. Every year, new vessels built in Tatarstan, intended for the needs of the Russian Navy, come off the slipways.

Grand ceremony of laying the hull of the small missile ship of 22800 project named Typhoon at Zelenodolsk Shipyard JSC. September, 2019. Photo: mpt.tatarstan

New ships are being laid. Not only of sea, but also air ones. By the instructions of Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu, the construction of strategic bombers Tu-160 got a new impetus in the development. Albert Karimov is actively interested in innovations in the field of technologies intended for the Armed Forces.

Albert Karimov during a visit to the National Centre for Industrial Design and Innovation '2050. LAB'. January, 2020. Photo: mpt.tatarstan

Actively supporting the introduction of innovations and effective technologies on the territory of the republic, Albert Karimov is engaged in building effective international business relations and promoting the products of Tatarstan enterprises to world markets with no less passion than participation in the development of production facilities. Bright presentations are often followed by an exchange of delegations of representatives of the business community, the signing of memoranda, agreements, and contracts.

Presentation of the industrial and investment potential of the Republic of Tatarstan at the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia. September, 2019. Photo: mpt.tatarstan

In leisure time

Albert Karimov prefers to spend his free time actively. As it became known to Realnoe Vremya, the minister is a fan of extreme hobbies. So, he was very seriously engaged in diving. Later, he became interested in sailing — he has an international certificate. By the way, he loves yachting to this day.

Albert Karimov never gave up yachting. Photo: Instagra

From 2017, Albert Karimov was the head of the Republican Sailing Federation. Under him, the traditional national competition Kama Sea reached a new level. In 2018, an agreement was signed on cooperation in the further development of sailing in Tatarstan between the Russian Sailing Federation, National Sailing League, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sport of Tatarstan, as well as the Sailing Federation of Tatarstan.

Signing of the agreement on cooperation in the field of further development of sailing in Tatarstan, 2018. Photo: himgrad

In 2019, Tatarstan hosted the final stage of the National Sailing League for the first time. In February 2020, Kazan welcomed participants of the Russian Methodological Seminar of Sailing Specialists. This was the first such seminar. Moreover, it was held on the initiative and proposal of the Tatarstan Federation.

In 2013, Albert Karimov conquered Elbrus. Photo: Instagram

Another hobby of the deputy prime minister is mountaineering. In 2013, as chairperson of the board of directors of Khimgrad JSC, Albert Karimov conquered Elbrus. He dedicated his ascent to the highest point in Europe to the 7th anniversary of the technopolis. The example was so contagious that in 2015 the flag of Khimgrad was raised over the top of Kilimanjaro. The ascent to the peak was made by Roman Kropachev, the director of one of the residents of the technopolis. In 2016, in honour of the 10th anniversary of Khimgrad, Albert Karimov's successor as CEO of the technopolis, Ayrat Gizzatulin, climbed to the top of Elbrus. As for the deputy prime minister's less extreme hobbies, volleyball and fishing are among them.

  • Ruslan Shigabutdinov

    Ruslan Shigabutdinov Director General of TAIF JSC

    Dear Mr Karimov,

    Please accept our warm and sincere congratulations on the this significant date — 45-year anniversary!

    The head of the modern formation, energetic, success-oriented professional of the highest class, the initiator of many socio-economic transformations in the republic, you do everything possible for the development and prosperity of your native land, for improving the lives of Tatarstan citizens. Your work history is a vivid example of hard work, strength of character and strong-willed determination. You always keep up with the times — you think broadly and unconventionally, generate interesting ideas and find practical applications for them. Thanks to your active participation, Tatarstan keeps a confident course for innovative development, industrial parks are being created, large-scale projects of strategic importance for the economy of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Russian Federation are being implemented — all this contributes to the promotion of the brand of the republic, increasing its investment attractiveness.

    On this big day, let me thank you, Mr Shigabutdinov, for your fruitful work for the benefit of your native republic, your huge creative potential, and for the comprehensive support you provide to TAIF Group!

    We sincerely wish you good health for many years to come, happiness and well-being, positive attitude, inexhaustible energy and strength for new professional victories for the benefit of the growth and development of the Republic of Tatarstan, for the benefit of the prosperity of Russia!

  • Roman Shaykhutdinov

    Roman Shaykhutdinov Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan

    Dear Mr Karimov,

    Please accept my sincere congratulations and warm wishes on the occasion of your anniversary!

    As the head of the ministry of industry and trade of the Republic of Tatarstan, you make a great contribution to the solution of the tasks set by the leadership of the republic to strengthen and improve the Tatarstan industry, to promote domestic products to the world market.

    Your high professionalism, focus on achieving concrete results and the ability to quickly make effective decisions are highly respected. I am sure that all these qualities will help you continue to do everything necessary for the prosperity of the industry and trade of the republic.

    I wish you success in your work, health and all the best!

  • Midkhat Shagiakhmetov

    Midkhat Shagiakhmetov Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan — Minister of Economy of Tatarstan

    Dear Mr Karimov,

    On the day of your anniversary, on behalf of the staff of the ministry of economy of the Republic of Tatarstan and myself, please accept our sincere wishes of good health, professional success, happiness and well-being!

    Let your knowledge, determination serve as a reliable foundation for fruitful work, and the potential that you possess will bring many more benefits for the industrial and energy sectors of the republic.

    On this big day, we wish you good health, unquenchable vitality, family well-being and great mood. Let the support of colleagues and like-minded people, the loyalty of friends and the love of loved ones help you and will be the key to further success!

    We sincerely wish you the realisation of all your plans and hopes, new achievements and, of course, new goals!

  • Elmira Zaripova

    Elmira Zaripova Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Protection of Tatarstan

    Dear Mr Karimov,

    On behalf of the staff of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Protection of the Republic of Tatarstan and myself I want to congratulate you on your birthday!

    A jubilee is a special day that gives one a reason to have a look back, evaluate one’s accomplishments and outline new plans and tasks. Remain loyal to the perseverance with achieving goals — it is a guarantee of professional victories. On this special day, let me express my admiration for your talent and purposefulness as well as gratitude for the fruitful cooperation. I sincerely hope that the joint activity will keep providing productive results helping to improve the social and economic life of society.

    From the bottom of my heart, I wish you health, family well-being, productive work, wise decisions and creative inspiration! Might the number of implemented projects multiply and energy and enthusiasm serve as a guarantee of success in all your undertakings!

  • Ayrat Safin

    Ayrat Safin Director General of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC

    Dear Mr Karimov,

    I am sincerely glad to congratulate you on the big day in your life — a jubilee — and wish you good health, well-being, a great mood and all the best!

    You belong to that category of managers who command sincere respect due to your great competence, responsibility for a given task, fidelity to principles, purposefulness, an ability to see a prospect always and everywhere, complete any task towards the perfection.

    I am expressing my gratitude for the understanding and support in resolving a lot of issues linked with the activity of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC.

    Might all your professional experience, determination, ability to see prospects and confidently pursue the goals that were set continue helping you in the arduous work for the good of our native republic.

    On this special day for you and your family, I warmly wish you inexhaustible energy, confidence in your power and optimism for many years to come.

  • Farid Minigulov

    Farid Minigulov Director General of Kazanorgsintez PJSC

    The staffs of Kazanorgsintez PJSC and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Tatarstan have strong business relationships.

    I know Mr Karimov as an experienced statesman and outstanding organiser who makes a big personal contribution to performing tasks to develop our republic’s industry, implement investment projects, promote Russian products in the world market. Tatarstan producers always see him as the main ally and supporter in the toughest projects.

    I warmly want to wish Mr Karimov ambitious plans, new opportunities, smart and efficient subordinates, worthy adversaries and loyal friends. Happiness, good health and prosperity!

  • Maksim Novikov

    Maksim Novikov Director General of TAIF-NK JSC

    Dear Mr Karimov,

    On behalf of the staff of TAIF-NK JSC and myself let me send our sincere congratulations to you on your birthday!

    You have been working in agencies of public power of the Republic of Tatarstan for many years and have done very much for its modern development over this time. Thanks to your professionalism and knowledge of regional problems, Tatarstan is experiencing big changes today. Big investment projects are implemented, industrial parks are created, the latest technology is introduced in the modernisation of plants.

    Dear Mr Karimov, you have well-deserved authority as a competent and responsible manager, experienced organiser of the big ministry.

    Great commitment, perseverance and constant search for effective ways of performing the tasks you set help you in the multifaceted activity designed to develop all our Republic of Tatarstan.

    Might your home be always full of love and understanding, harmony and cosiness, kindness and care, support and well-being. Might success and luck accompany you at work like before. Might buoyancy and purposefulness, high spirits and positive energy never leave you.

  • Eduard Galeyev

    Eduard Galeyev Director General of TGC-16 JSC

    Dear Mr Karimov,

    Let me offer my sincere and warmest congratulations on your 45th jubilee on behalf of all the big staff of TGC-16 and myself.

    On this solemn day, we are glad to express our deep respect to you. Your career is a good example of professionalism, purposefulness and service for the good of the republic. As an experienced and modern manager, you know how to give serious and big tasks to staffs and always achieve the goals you set.

    The expansion of Tatarstan’s industrial potential is linked with your name. TGC-16 JSC constantly feels your priceless support in implementing long-term development programmes, innovative and investment projects. We are convinced that the competence, great knowledge, understanding of the sector that are inherent in you will keep favouring the development and prosperity of the republic, improvement of its citizens’ quality of life.

    Let me join all the kind words that you will receive today and sincerely wish you excellent health, efficiency for many years to come, accomplishment of all plans you make.

  • Shamil Ageyev

    Shamil Ageyev Chairman of the Union of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tatarstan

    Dear Mr Karimov,

    On behalf of the staff of the Union of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tatarstan, let me offer our the warmest congratulations on your birthday.

    Your professionalism and knowledge of your business, ability to perform tough tasks helped you gain prestige in the republic. The modern industrial complex — Khimgrad technopolis — grew up under your guidance. Now you successfully follow the course to develop Tatarstan’s economy, support entrepreneurship and promote Tatarstan products outside the republic and the country.

    Move forward, successfully implement large-scale projects for Tatarstan and Russia’s development and prosperity. Might you are accompanied by your friends and colleagues’ support, the love of your dearest and nearest and might every day bring professional accomplishments and personal victories. I wish you happiness, health and well.

  • Taliya Minullina

    Taliya Minullina Head of Tatarstan Investment Development Agency

    Made in Tatarstan — is a quality seal tested for years and recognised around the world. Made in Tatarstan is also a seal of extraordinary people:

    Creative

    Ambitious

    Resolute leaders

    Intellectuals with a capital ‘I’

    With big thoughts and ideas

    Witty judgements

    Loyal to the native republic.

    And it is very illustrative that the promotion of the brand Made in Tatarstan is in the hands of a man who was made in Tatarstan.

    I and the whole investment bloc of the Republic of Tatarstan want you, Mr Karimov, to keep finding approaches to performing complicated tasks, still do a labour of love, regularly and successfully recharge your batteries and inner harmony.

  • Farid Abdulganiyev

    Farid Abdulganiyev Tatarstan President’s Ombudsman for Entrepreneurs’ Rights

    Dear Mr Karimov,

    Please accept our warm congratulations on your 45th jubilee!

    Over the years of your career, you have rightly gained authority as a competent and responsible manager, you have initiated a lot of socio-economic transformations in the republic.

    Might the considerable working experience on responsible posts, weighty professional accomplishments and managerial talent become a guarantee of stability and positive changes, a constructive approach to realising Tatarstan’s potential in e-commerce and in performing topical tasks of developing small and medium-sized businesses of our region! Health, well-being and happiness to you and your family!

By Arseny Favstritsky
Tatarstan