Albert Shigabutdinov’s business of life

Director General of TAIF JSC turns 70

Albert Shigabutdinov’s business of life
Photo: Roman Khasaev/

What associations does the TAIF brand evoke? A successful diversified group of companies, which for more than 30 years of history has made a huge contribution to the development of a number of industries in Tatarstan and Russia: oil and gas processing, petrochemistry, energy, telecommunications, media, construction, civil aviation, stock markets, investments, insurance and banking, etc. Albert Shigabutdinov, the founder and head of one of the the pillars of the republic's economy and the person whose name is strongly associated with the success of the Group, celebrates his 70th anniversary. About the history of Albert Shigabutdinov's work and what became a matter of life for him and his like-minded people — read in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

“It is difficult to overestimate the role of TAIF for the development of our republic, the Russian Federation”

This August, at a meeting with the leadership of the Group, gathered via videoconferencing, President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov stressed and added:

“TAIF Group's investment programme includes the projects of strategic importance not only for the Republic of Tatarstan, but also projects of federal significance.”

Rustam Minnikhanov: “I have known Albert Kasafovich for a while.” Photo: Roman Khasaev/

“I've known Albert Kasafovich for a while. Since Soviet times, when he did not work in oil refining and petrochemistry, he was not as big a boss as he is now, and I was one of the district leaders in the republic. His activity was striking even then. Then there were the difficult 1990s years. His natural wit, drive, thirst for success and incredible organisational skills allowed him to gather a group of like-minded people, and TAIF Group was created, solving very difficult tasks in those difficult times. I would like to highlight the quality of Albert Shigabutdinov such as meticulous and scrupulous desire to comprehend all the subtleties of any process. He is a very purposeful and demanding person to others and, first of all, to himself, with an amazing working capacity.

On the day of the 70th anniversary, I would like to congratulate Albert Shigabutdinov on his anniversary and emphasise that he is a person and leader not only of the republican, but also of the Russian scale. It is largely his merit that TAIF Group has reached the heights of development. The projects implemented by the team under the leadership of Albert Shigabutdinov gave a serious impetus to the growth of Tatarstan's economy. Albert Kashafovich is still on duty today, full of energy, active, purposeful. We wish him good health and realisation of all plans. And we know that he has many interesting and large-scale plans. Happy anniversary, Albert Kashafovich!”

Rustam Minnikhanov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan.

Dear Mr Shigabutdinov, Please accept my sincere congratulations on your 70th anniversary!

Your whole working life is an example of will, determination and immense diligence. Being a natural born leader, talented business executive, who headed TAIF Group for many years, you were able to gather a close-knit team of like-minded professionals around you and lead the company to the leaders not only in Tatarstan, but also in the Russian Federation. Under your leadership, TAIF has become a largest holding company successfully implementing ambitious projects in various sectors of economy, the most important of which were petrochemistry and oil refining. Largely thanks to your perseverance and determination, the republic's plans for the transition from crude oil exports to its high convertion and the creation of the only enterprise in the world with an oil convertion rate of more than 90% on the basis of TAIF-NK have been implemented.

You are one of the ideologists of the creation of the Merged Company of TAIF and SIBUR, which, despite the difficult geopolitical situation and unprecedented sanctions pressure, continues to implement the programme of Strategic development of the petrochemical complex of the republic. Having assumed great responsibility for the implementation of the company's investment plans of strategic federal importance, you pay great attention to the support of professional and amateur sports, issues of respect for the environment, and the continuation of large-scale charitable work.

During the work in the parliament of the republic, you were at the top of socio-political and legislative activities, directly participated in the preparation of draft laws, worked with the voters of your district with interest, conducted the reception of citizens personally.

Let me wish you, dear Mr Shigabutdinov, good health, family well-being, inextinguishable energy and good spirits!

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

The career path of Albert Shigabutdinov is a vivid example of hard work, dedication and integrity. For decades, his name has been inextricably linked with the TAIF company. It was under his leadership that it turned into the largest multidisciplinary holding company successfully implementing ambitious projects in the republic in petrochemistry and oil refining, investments, construction and so on.

The early 1990s were difficult years. Turbulent events in political life, economic crisis, changes in the social structure. During these years, Albert Kashafovich headed the foreign trade NGO “Kazan”. During the period of total shortage, this association provided our republic with a variety of goods: from sugar to cars and trams. Obviously, this experience pushed him to a difficult decision for that time — to found the joint-stock company TAIF. The main vector of the company was the sphere of petrochemistry and oil refining. Over the years, TAIF has accounted for the bulk of the output of the chemical, petrochemical and oil and gas processing industries of Tatarstan. The success of the company was largely achieved thanks to the competence of Mr Shigabutdinov, his managerial talent, great diligence and dedication.

Dear Mr Shigabutdinov, I sincerely congratulate you on your anniversary! I sincerely wish you inexhaustible energy and vitality for further active and fruitful work for the benefit of our republic.

Aleksey Pesoshin, Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan.

The new history of Tatarstan and its capital is inextricably linked with TAIF Group of companies and Albert Kashafovich Shigabutdinov. All the achievements and victories of Kazan became possible thanks to the huge contribution of industrial giants to the development of the city. Until recently, half of this power was TAIF Group.

The millennium of Kazan became the foundation of all transformations that we are proud of today. The Universiade 2013, which was recognised as the most successful in the history of the Games, World Aquatics Championship, which was held in Russia for the first time in the history of our state and the former Soviet Union, enchanting 2018 FIFA World Cup and other events were held. Of course, all of them became possible due to that the republic and Kazan had such industrial potential.

Many projects that brought the capital of Tatarstan to a new, world-class level were implemented with the support of Mr Shigabutdinov. Thus, thanks to the participation of the group, the unique Programme for the elimination of dilapidated housing was implemented, which went down in history as one of the most important milestones, thanks to which tens of thousands of Kazan residents improved their living conditions. Various residential, sports, socio-cultural facilities, built with the support of TAIF, are now the decoration of the city. And the restored Lebyazhye Lakes have become a favourite place of recreation for citizens.

Mr Shigabutdinov is one of those leaders who were born in Tatarstan and grew up to be respected people of the industry not only in the country, but also abroad. I remember well the nineties, when crises were raging in the midst, there was nothing to pay salaries and pensions with. It was at that time that we met Mr Shigabutdinov. In such a difficult period, he and his team took up enhancing the oil convertion rate, new bold projects. With the support of Mintimer Shaimiev, our first president, and Rustam Minnikhanov, then Prime Minister and now President of Tatarstan, TAIF Group achieved great success. Albert Kashafovich has always been tenacious of new things, greedy for new ideas, technologies and productions in a good way. He continues to grow even now, he is a leader of a large scale — commensurate with the tasks that TAIF has faced and is facing. He knows how to gather strong and talented people around him, with whom you can implement any projects.

I sincerely congratulate Mr Shigabutdinov on his anniversary and wish his wonderful family to grow and strengthen. I send my best wishes on behalf of the grateful residents of Kazan and on my own.

Ilsur Metshin, Mayor of Kazan.

More than 30 years of history. Dozens of companies have been created, grown, gained strength and continued their development outside the parent Group. Albert Shigabutdinov himself does not get tired to emphasise: TAIF is an investment company whose plans has never included the undivided ownership of certain assets. “TAIF is part of the company on market conditions that needs an impulse for development, and on a planned basis, with a clear elaboration of long-term development programmes, it is actively working to increase its economic efficiency, strengthen the production and material-technical basis, improve technologies. But when a business is firmly on its feet, it either acquires independence and becomes 'autonomous', or is transferred on market conditions to a new owner who is ready to continue its development. It is the guarantee of strict implementation of the programme for further development that is the key condition for the transfer of the business to a new owner.”

In October 2021, the deal was closed to merge the petrochemical and energy businesses of TAIF Group and SIBUR Holding PJSC. Photo: Roman Khasaev/

Last year, the deal was closed to merge the petrochemical and energy businesses of TAIF Group and SIBUR Holding PJSC. Tatarstan assets joined the merged company, intending to enter the top five largest petrochemical structures in the world at the peak of the recovery. For the first time in the history of TAIF Group, revenue from the sale of products, works and services of its member companies exceeded 1 trillion rubles. Petrochemistry and energy account for a significant part of economic success.

Leonid Mikhelson: “Mr Shigabutdinov, under your leadership TAIF was able to take the position of one of the leading petrochemical companies.” Photo: Mikhail Kozlovsky/

Dear Mr Shigabutdinov, Please accept my sincere congratulations on the occasion of your anniversary!

Over the years, you have made a huge contribution to the development of TAIF JSC. Under your leadership, the company has been increasing its industrial and economic potential step by step and could take the position of one of the leading petrochemical companies. Your professionalism, knowledge, and rich experience are still working on the tasks of its development and prosperity.

I wish you, dear Mr Shigabutdinov, the realisation of all your plans! Good health and well-being to you and your loved ones!

Leonid Mikhelson, Chairman of the Management Board of Novatek PJSC, Chairman of the Board of Directors, largest shareholder of SIBUR Holding PJSC.

Dmitry Konov: “Mr Shigabutdinov, you have set a high bar with your work that it will be an honour for new generations of oil and gas chemists to keep.” Photo: Mikhail Medvedev/ courtesy of TAIF JSC press service for

One of the most vivid impressions from the first meeting with Mr Shigabutdinov is his office. Not as a space, but rather as a vivid characteristic of his personal approach to work and the degree of personal involvement in the management of the company. It was probably back in the middle of the 2000s. I can't remember the reason for the trip now, and it doesn't matter — probably just an acquaintance. So, the first thing I noticed then was a huge amount of working material, literally covered with various kinds of documents in the office. It's just a huge amount of detailed information that Albert Shigabutdinov receives regularly and delves into everything himself. From production results and data on the economic condition of the entrusted enterprises — he literally “keeps his finger on the pulse” of the business. Up to deeply elaborated development plans. In the future, as the acquaintance progressed, the impression only became fixed.

Dear Albert Kasafovich, on behalf of the Russian Union of Chemists and myself, let me congratulate you on your anniversary.

Strategic vision, personal involvement and hard work at a distance of almost three decades today allow us to rightfully call you one of the main co-authors of the development of the petrochemical industry of modern Russia and its high competitiveness on the world stage. With your work, you have set a high bar, which will be an honour for new generations of oil and gas chemists, brought up, including by your example.

I wish you professional longevity, preservation of the combination of sharpness of mind and oriental wisdom that has always distinguished you, as well as endless energy and health.

Dmitry Konov, member of the Council of the Russian Union of Chemists.

Mikhail Karisalov: “Mr Shigabutdinov, together, in the spirit of partnership, we will successfully overcome new difficult times” Photo: Maksim Platonov/

Dear Albert Kasafovich, please accept my sincere congratulations on the anniversary.

It is difficult to overestimate your personal interest in the petrochemical industry of Tatarstan, your role in its preservation at the end of the turbulent 1990s and your significant contribution to the subsequent development. The vast experience and expertise you have accumulated are invaluable to our company. I believe that today, working together in the spirit of partnership to strengthen its stability, we will successfully overcome new difficult times.

Good health and well-being to you and your loved ones.

Mikhail Karisalov, Chairman of the Management Board, CEO of SIBUR PLC.

To achieve a goal, you need to act even through “I can't”

An iron will and a clear understanding that success lies in daily painstaking work at the limit of human capabilities, probably this is one of the key character traits of Albert Shigabutdinov.

The future creator of one of the largest private diversified companies in Russia, was born on November 12, 1952, in Pervouralsk, Sverdlovsk Oblast, but lives all his life in his native Tatarstan. His father worked here as the chief engineer of the collective farm, and his mother worked as a head teacher at a school and taught Russian there. Albert Kashafovich's love of work comes from them. His perseverance and willingness to strive for the goal, despite any difficulties, without self-pity, was brought up by life itself. It so happened that at the age of 8, curious and restless, like any other boy at that age, Albert and his friends ran away to watch the spring ice drift. They got wet, then we walked through the forest. As a result, he got sick — his legs were paralysed. The hospital was diagnosed with severe rheumatism. Doctors were able to restore the ability to walk, but they could not get rid of the disease completely. He coped with this himself by persistent sports for many years: 2-3 hours every day. Sports were complemented by hard work, which was always enough in the private sector. With the approval of his father, the boy took sheep and steers for fattening, helped to harvest wood. He put all other forces into his hobby: he was an ardent amateur radio operator.

After graduation, Albert Shigabutdinov convinced his parents that he was ready to go his own way. The father wanted his son to continue his business and, after studying at the agricultural institute, returned as a specialist in the agricultural sphere. Or at least to go to Leningrad, where his friends taught at the university. But Albert Shigabutdinov, who loved mathematics and radio engineering since childhood, chose the Kazan Aviation Institute, from which he graduated in 1976 with a degree in Radio Electronic Devices.

It was during his student years that his organisational abilities manifested themselves. He quickly became the leader of his department, enthusiastically and selflessly engaged in public work and was soon elected chairman of the educational and methodological commission. From the first year of study, he worked every summer in the construction squad, soon becoming a commissar, and in 1974 — a commander. By the way, he also worked on the construction of production facilities of Nizhnekamskneftekhim. He met his future wife Galia during his student years.

Albert Shigabutdinov's love of work comes from his parents, and his willingness to move forward, despite difficulties, was brought up by life itself. Photo: courtesy of TAIF JSC press service for

After studying, he stayed to work at the institute. One of the sites where I had a chance to work is the creation of an exemplary fruit and vegetable state farm. The main customer of the project was the Ministry of Land Reclamation of Tatarstan. The active young specialist was offered a managerial job and a decent salary in a new state farm. Although he did not want to part with the institute, according to Albert Kashafovich himself, he could not refuse the offer: “My father was broken by sciatica. I needed money for treatment, I needed to help his mother. Besides, I have two sisters and a brother. The money I received for moonlighting, working at night, was not enough. I went to the chief at the institute: thus I say, they invited me to another job, I can't refuse. Of course, he did not want to let me go, but he understood the situation in which I found myself, signed the statement and said: “If you decide to come back, I will gladly accept you back," Shigabutdinov said many years later.

“Albert Kashafovich has always been distinguished by his commitment to innovation. As a person who thinks ahead of time, he quickly picks up new and useful things. Even back in the distant 1970s, when we created the first vegetable-growing complexes Narmonsky and Voroshilovsky in the republic, Albert Kashafovich worked as deputy director of the vegetable-growing state farm Narmonsky. “Narmonka” was an exemplary farm, largely due to their successful activities, we managed to solve the problem of providing the population with fresh vegetables in those years," Mintimer Shaimiev, State Adviser of the Republic of Tatarstan, recalls about this time.

Mintimer Shaimiev: “Albert Kasafovich has always been distinguished by his commitment to innovation and proactive thinking.” Photo: Mikhail Kozlovsky/

Albert Shigabutdinov worked for Narmonka for five years. Then in one of the regional food stores of Kazan. Later — for several more years — Deputy Director General for Construction, Supply and Marketing of the Tatar Association of the Fishing Industry. By that time, the era of the USSR was approaching sunset, perestroika was underway, the former state economy was collapsing, cooperatives were being formed. Albert Shigabutdinov made one of the key decisions in his life: to quit and start life from scratch — to create his own company.

The era of change: VTNPO Kazan

“The meeting with Mayor of Kazan Kamil Iskhakov helped to strengthen the desire to leave in “free swimming”. The proposal to create a foreign trade organisation that would supply the population with essential products was received favourably. The situation with the shortage of goods was getting worse and worse. Every day in the morning, the city administration was puzzling over how to feed the Kazan residents, what to put on and dress them in," it is reported in the book “TAIF: The Beginning ...”, which was published in 2015 — the year when TAIF celebrated its 25th anniversary. So in 1990, the Kazan foreign trade scientific and production association appeared.

Who in the world is smarter, more visionary and wiser? Of course, Albert Kashafovich Shigabutdinov. It is necessary to have an extraordinary mind, a vision of the future, and back in the 1990s to go into commerce and not just buy and sell, which many started with, but to aim at creating a powerful structure called TAIF, which during all this time turned from a small commercial enterprise into a powerful and effective holding, world-class enterprise.

If you can compare Albert Kashafovich with someone in terms of success, efficiency, then, probably, only with such great people who have left their bright mark in history. Albert Kashafovich really makes history as a talented and skillful leader, who is believed and who is able to eventually fulfill all the tasks that were determined first by Mintimer Sharipovich, and later by Rustam Nurgalievich. This includes a powerful petrochemical complex of enterprises operating in the republic today, which provides the lion's share of the republic's budget. For this, there are awards, honours, and thanks from the republic and from the federal centre. But the most important thing is the gratitude of the people who work with him.

I have known Albert Kashafovich for a long time and have congratulated him more than once. And I have always admired his ability to look ahead and unsurpassed diplomatic qualities. On the anniversary day — my most sincere congratulations and wishes to continue to be a leader, to be successful, in no case to retreat and go only forward! May God grant you long years of active life and good health.

Asgat Safarov, Chief of Staff of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan.

“Ordinary people gathered — not lazy people, but hard workers who have accustomed themselves to work for days and not complain about fatigue and difficulties. The pace of life is so fast that in a day we managed to do so much that others would have enough for a week. The wheels of the car went up to 1000 kilometres a day," Albert Shigabutdinov himself tells about the events of more than 30 years ago. He selected his associates to match himself: eager to work day and night, not sparing himself. Those who were ready to give their all, investing in the future. The first were Rustem Sulteev and Guzelia Safina.

Albert Shigabutdinov chose his associates to match themselves: they were ready to work 24/7, not sparing themselves. Photo: courtesy of TAIF JSC press service for

The company started with the delivery of a large batch of cigarettes to Tatarstan. It was so difficult with them in the republic that there were even “tobacco riots” at enterprises. Later, food and clothing demanded by the population were delivered. Moreover, VTNPO avoided barter transactions. The heads of enterprises who wanted to exchange their products for the supplied goods were offered a more effective solution: to transfer the products of Kazan for sale and pay for the delivery with the received live money. So, the business turnover was replenished with diesel fuel, rubber, car tyres — all that Tatarstan enterprises produced, but because of the collapsed state planned economic system, they could not sell themselves. “In this situation, the main thing was to uphold the trust of the management of enterprises, to sell the goods faster and return the money to the producers that, first of all, went to pay salaries to the labour collective," said Albert Shigabutdinov.

Further, the supply and sale of passenger cars, special equipment, technologies and know-how was organised. VTNPO Kazan has taken on the difficult mission of restoring, or rather, building logistics links between manufacturers of a wide range of goods and services throughout Russia, CIS countries, and abroad, gradually turning from a commercial company into an investment company sincerely worried about the economy of its native region and ready to do a lot for its prosperity, increasing volumes and improving quality manufactured, including petrochemical products.

Rustem Sulteev: “Albert Kashafovich sees something that is inaccessible to many.” Photo: courtesy of TAIF JSC press service for

I think I am very lucky that fate has brought me together with wonderful people who have become both good friends and reliable partners. First of all, it is Albert Shigabutdinov. By the end of the 1980s, all of us, young people full of energy, had already had experience working in various organisations. We had constant conversations, the essence of which was reduced to the short idea: there is no time to waste — we must finally start our own business, create a company that would implement investment programmes that are of priority importance for the economy of Tatarstan. When we created TAIF, starting almost from scratch, it was difficult to predict what would happen in a year, in two or three years. But Albert Kashafovich sees something that many may not see. When TAIF started, and the years were hard then, many did not believe that we could create such a large company. A lot has been done since then.

We started creating our business with industrial production. Perhaps, it is because they themselves came from production. Albert Kashafovich is a production worker, creator in spirit. We got close with him because of the similarity of views on life. I am impressed by people with a patriotic streak in their blood, for whom the word “Motherland” is not an empty sound and whose words do not diverge from deeds. You are attracted to such people and you become better yourself. Albert Kashafovich is a man who values his name, who is trusted, who keeps his word under any circumstances. This is the main component that, in my opinion, defines a person. For us, this is extremely important both in everyday life and in work.

Throughout his career, Albert Kashafovich has made a significant contribution to the progressive development of the domestic market economy, the modernisation of industrial sector. He has unique organisational skills, exceptional personal qualities and professional competence. His incredible efficiency and dedication to the cause for the benefit of the country ensured TAIF Group to achieve high financial and production indicators in key areas of activity and sustainable development throughout the entire period of the Group's work. Now, looking back and analysing the past, I am once again convinced of how prescient was the decision to go the most difficult way — to organise new production facilities, create jobs. Albert Kashafovich was initially set up for difficulties in the creative process, did not expect quick returns and quick successes, so we survived, then got firmly on our feet and achieved great results. He is a man who achieves the impossible. Some of the things he talked about seemed difficult to implement, but thanks to his diligence, perseverance, everything was brought to life.

I sincerely wish Albert Kashafovich excellent health and longevity, happiness, well-being and confidence in the future! Let his business spirit never leave him, and let the future prepare many happy years filled with joy and luck, good news and only happy events!

Rustem Sulteev, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TAIF JSC, Deputy Director General of TAIF JSC for production and commercial activities — First Deputy.

Guzelia Safina: “Taking a comprehensive approach to solving problems, for three decades Albert Kashafovich proposed and led the development and implementation of strategic programmes of the Group's enterprises that are of great importance for the economy of Tatarstan, the Russian Federation.” Photo: courtesy of TAIF JSC press service for

Famous navigator Christopher Columbus said: “You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” It is impossible to disagree with this statement: Albert Kashafovich, more than 30 years ago, in the difficult turning point of the 1990s, was not afraid to break away from the familiar shore and went to conquer his ocean, into the free swimming of big business!

I met Albert Kashafovich back in the early 1990s, when VTNPO Kazan was created. I soon became convinced of the seriousness of the aspiring businessman's aspirations and that the job he offered would be interesting to me. He is an open, straightforward person who believes that it is better to say out loud about his doubts than to wear himself down from the inside and suffer. Our director general has a unique ability to convince people. Perhaps, that is why he is an eternal leader.

Taking a comprehensive approach to solving problems, for three decades Albert Kashafovich proposed and led the development and implementation of strategic programmes of Kazanorgsintez, Nizhnekamskneftekhim, TGC-16 and many other enterprises of the Group that are of great importance for the economy of Tatarstan, the Russian Federation for the benefit of the residents of the republic and the country. With the arrival of TAIF Group, the production and financial indicators of these companies increased by about tenfold, and somewhere — by hundred times.

Albert Kashafovich gathered a well-coordinated team of like-minded people, with whom he built the large multidisciplinary TAIF Group, which took leadership positions not only in the economy of Tatarstan, but also in Russia. TAIF is a brand known in all parts of the world, and Albert Kashafovich is its ideological inspirer!

Today, on this significant day for every TAIF worker, I would like to congratulate Albert Kasafovich on his anniversary with all my heart! I wish you the realisation of all the boldest ideas and plans, good health, excellent mood, bright professional successes, correct decisions and new achievements!

Guzelia Safina, Chief Advisor to Director General of TAIF JSC in economics and finance.

To improve the quality and increase the volume of production of oil refining and petrochemistry, technologies and huge investments were needed. To get them, state guarantees and an independent assessment of the assets of enterprises were necessary. On this issue, the young company entered into correspondence with the Cabinet of Ministers of the republic. And this was a step towards the next stage in the development of Albert Shigabutdinov's business of life.

The Birth of TAIF

In many ways, it was at the suggestion of Albert Shigabutdinov and the company headed by him that the government of the republic decided to seriously address the issues of developing a full-fledged operating stock market tools in the republic. At the instruction of the leadership of Tatarstan, specialists of VTNPO Kazan joined in the study of the topic. Practical lessons had to be taken abroad, since in the recent history of Russia, market relations at that time were still in their infancy.

April 11, 1995. Meeting of Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev with the leadership of VTNPO Kazan and foreign investors. Photo: Mikhail Kozlovsky/courtesy of TAIF JSC press service for

On April 11, 1995, a historic meeting took place: Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev received the leadership of VTNPO Kazan and a group of foreign investors. It was about the creation of an international investment company in the republic, the purpose and objectives of which would be to attract capital to the economy of the Republic of Tatarstan. To accelerate the integration of Tatarstan and Russia as a whole into the global financial system, the parties also agreed to work together on the development of the stock market, the creation of an international stock exchange in the republic, and the provision of independent international expertise of the assets of companies of the Republic of Tatarstan.

Mintimer Shaimiev approved the idea of creating the international investment company and wished it to gain credibility in the business world as soon as possible," such message appeared on April 12, 1995 on the pages of Respublika Tatarstan newspaper.

Clipping from Respublika Tatarstan newspaper of 12 April, 1995. Photo: courtesy of TAIF JSC press service for

“Albert Kashafovich, during the formation of market relations, was at the origins of the creation of the famous TAIF company. It was the first industrial and investment company in the republic, with a new form of ownership combining state, private and foreign capital. Thanks to the systematic work of the head of the company, Albert Shigabutdinov, they managed to effectively fit into the new economic rules and achieve significant success on an international scale. TAIF Group became the leader of the petrochemical industry not only in the republic, but also abroad," recalls Tatarstan State Councilor Mintimer Shaimiev.

“I have known Albert Kashafovich for many years and I never cease to be surprised at his foresight. They say that the Tatars are very rough by character, distrustful, hard to get along with others. It is not easy to even start a conversation with them, and it is even difficult to agree at all. In part, this is probably true. However, I also know something else — if one takes up with the Tatars, then it is for a long time, perhaps forever," said Alexander Fridman, a member of the Board of Directors of TAIF JSC, in March 2005. He is ready to repeat it today. And also that neither distance nor the geopolitical situation is a hindrance to true friendship.

Dear and beloved Albert Kashafovich! I congratulate you on your seventieth anniversary! I wish you health, success, and joy from your family and friends.

We met you exactly 30 years ago, and these years of our friendship flew by like a few minutes. It is a great honour to be your friend, and I wish us to celebrate another fortieth, fiftieth, and so on anniversary of this event. The pandemic will end, stability will return to the world, and we will be able, as before, to celebrate these wonderful dates together. I love you, my friend!

Alexander Fridman, Member of the Board of Directors of TAIF JSC from 1995 to 1996, from 1998 to 2021.

By the way, it was then — at the end of the 20th century, when TAIF company was created on the basis of VTNPO Kazan, the ideas of creating special economic zones, a science city and other points of investment and economic growth were formed and implemented in Tatarstan only recently, but which became breakthrough for Russia and the republic.

There is not a single industry in the development of which TAIF would not take part

Already at the beginning of its work, TAIF actively advocated the preservation and development of the industrial potential of the republic. Not limited to appeals, the company itself actively invested in those areas of the economy, the absence or underdevelopment of which seriously hindered market transformations in the republic. The company became engaged in creating the market of modern telecommunications, including multimedia services — it launched mobile and fixed-line communication projects, created terrestrial and satellite television. During the reconstruction and construction of the primary oil processing plant, it became obvious to TAIF-NK that there were no modern construction capacities in Tatarstan.

Dear Albert Kashafovich, I sincerely congratulate you on your 70th birthday. You have approached this anniversary as an accomplished person in the full sense of the word: as a leader, as a man, as the head of the family.

I remember many years of working together, and no matter what you do, wherever you work, you have always been distinguished by professionalism, decency and commitment to decisions. I would like to wish you a long, harmonious, active life. Thank you for working together and for the good relations. Happy birthday, dear Albert Kashafovich!

Marat Khusnullin, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.

Probably, there is not a single industry, sphere or direction of the economy in the republic in the development of which TAIF would not take a direct, most active, and most importantly, effective part.

One of the most significant achievements of TAIF is that during the period of economic collapse, when industrial giants throughout the country, accustomed to working within the strict framework of the state-planned system over the years of the USSR, suddenly found themselves literally thrown into the waves of market relations and drowned, unable to merge the old or build new logistics commodity and raw materials relations, the young company, on behalf of the leadership of the republic, undertook to rescue from bankruptcy and sale of parts of Tatarstan oil refining and petrochemistry — Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Kazanorgsintez. Under the wing of TAIF, both complexes became one of the most powerful and modern production facilities in the country.

Vladimir Busygin: “Albert Kashafovich, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to work and be near you for many years.” Photo: courtesy of TAIF JSC press service for

Dear Mr Shigabutdinov, I am sincerely glad to cordially congratulate you on your anniversary birthday! I am deeply grateful that I had the opportunity to work and be near you for many years. I always remember our work in Nizhnekamsk with special warmth and, continuing to work in Kazan, I became more and more convinced of your accuracy of forecasts and the professionalism of the strategist. Thanks to your trust and the independence granted to me, as the director general of Nizhnekamskneftekhim, any of the things started, either the construction of new production facilities or the implementation of programmes approved by the board of directors, we always brought you to the end, the tasks were completed on time, which resulted in an increase in the Company's net profit. Our joint work led to the stable operation of the enterprise, which allowed not only to increase the capacity of existing production facilities, but also to master the production of new types of products: rubbers, polymers, which were not previously in our country.

I would like to sincerely wish you a wonderful mood, peace and happiness. Let life be filled with joy, warmth of soul, fate is generous for the brightest and kindest events. I wish that your loved ones and friends, and those with whom you want to share your joy, will always be there!

Vladimir Busygin, 1999-2013 — Director General of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, 2013-2017 — Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC.

It's hard to be the first

“Much of what TAIF Group does — building residential buildings or industrial complexes, setting up the production of new products or engaged in reconstruction — it does among the first, not only in the republic, but often in the country," the first president of the republic, state adviser of Tatarstan, Hero of Labour of Russia, Mintimer Shaimiev, emphasises in the book “Living, Working, Building For People”.

Mintimer Shaimiev: “Much of what the TAIF Group does, it does among the first.” Photo: Roman Khasaev/

The first and only production of Bisphenol A in the country, the only polycarbonate plant in Russia, Nizhnekamskneftekhim became one of the world's largest “synthetic rubber supermarkets” over the years of modernisation and reconstruction. TAIF-NK commissioned the world's only Heavy Residue Convertion Complex using VCC technology on a similar scale and unique configuration. The TAIF oil refining complex today is the undisputed leader of the domestic industry in extracting light, high-quality petroleum products from every tonne of raw materials. At the construction stage of the complex, there were enough spiteful critics who assured that the project was invalid, that it was impossible to implement it, at least because no one had done this before. Yes, it is difficult to be the first, but if professionals take up the case under direct guidance, if every step is weighed and verified, everything is possible.

Laying the first stone in the foundation of the HRCC of oil distillation. Photo: courtesy of TAIF JSC press service for

During the activity of TAIF Group in the fields of chemistry and petrochemistry, over 60 large technological units were built, each of which is actually a plant in its scale, hundreds of smaller, but of great importance for both the Tatarstan and Russian chemical and petrochemical industries of investment projects were implemented.

The ability to conduct a dialogue, build business relationships with the Group's partners, including foreign ones, is the strength of Albert Shigabutdinov and the team he leads. It often turns out that a business partnership turns into a long friendship.

Dear Albert Kashafovich, on behalf of IPCO-TRADING SA (Switzerland) and myself personally, allow me to cordially congratulate you on your 70th anniversary.

For more than 30 years we have been linked by deep partnerships and personal friendship. We are proud that during all these years we have found a skilled state-level manager, talented organiser, major technical specialist and professional in the field of finance in your person. This is evidenced by the successes achieved by the TAIF company you lead, which has grown from a small commercial and industrial company into a diversified industrial and technical holding.

Let me sincerely wish you good health, happiness, good luck, prosperity and success in all your affairs.

Zeljko Milic: “Albert Kashafovich, under your management TAIF has grown from a small commercial and industrial company into a diversified industrial and technical holding.” Photo: courtesy of TAIF JSC press service for

Sincerely, Zeljko Milic, Yury Korenko.

Oilmen know Albert Kashafovich well as an ambitious and bright personality, a leader who devoted his efforts to the development of one of the largest companies in Tatarstan. Largely thanks to his personal authority, deep knowledge in various spheres of the economy and effective management, the petrochemical industry of the region and oil refining developed. They are still the most important points of growth today.

On the anniversary day, I would like to wish you, dear Albert Kashafovich, good spirits, new bold ideas, energy for their implementation, good health, happiness and well-being!

Nail Maganov, CEO and Member of the Board of Directors of Tatneft PJSC named after V.D. Shashin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TANECO JSC.

Dear Mr Shigabutdinov, On behalf of Gazprom Neft and on my behalf personally, please accept congratulations on the anniversary!

You have made a huge contribution to the development of the petrochemical industry in Russia. Under your leadership, TAIF Group has been successfully and actively developing for many years, implementing major investment projects, creating new technological solutions. As a result, the company has become the flagship of the economy not only of Tatarstan, but of the whole country. Your high professionalism, competence, dedication to your work arouse great respect. I appreciate our effective cooperation.

On this festive day, I wish you the realisation of all your plans, new successes, and all the best! Good health and well-being to you and your loved ones.

Alexander Dyukov, Chairman of the Management Board, Director General of Gazprom Neft PJSC.

Dear Mr Shigabutdinov, on behalf of Siemens Energy in Russia and on my behalf personally, please accept my most sincere congratulations on your anniversary!

Your professional activity is inextricably linked with the oil and gas and chemical industries, with the TAIF company you created more than a quarter of a century ago, with the introduction of new advanced technologies. All these years, your high professionalism, competence, large-scale level of thinking, clear principled position and talent of the head have always allowed you to overcome any obstacles to the development of TAIF.

May the work to which you give your strength, experience and knowledge bring you joy, new achievements and victories! TAIF and Siemens Energy have long-term partnership relations. Your personal involvement and enthusiasm play an exceptional role in this cooperation. It has always been very important for us to remain a responsible, strong and reliable partner of TAIF JSC. I am personally grateful to you for our communication, I congratulate you on this significant day and wish you success in all areas of your activity! Good health and well-being to you and your loved ones!

Oleg Titov, President of Siemens Energy in Russia.

Successful business development, commissioning of new production facilities, development of new products and new market niches — all this ultimately works for the financial and economic results not only of the company, but also of the cities of the republic and the country where the production facilities are located. One of the most important components of the social responsibility of both TAIF Group and the Merged Company, as well as their serious contribution to the development of the economy of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan is the timely and full payment of taxes and fees, as well as improving the welfare of their employees, and hence their family members, through the growth of wages. Another important area is active participation in solving socially significant issues and tasks. For these purposes, as well as for charity and sponsorship of good causes, TAIF Group has allocated hundreds of billions of rubles over its history.

Dear Mr Shigabutdinov, Please accept our warmest and most sincere congratulations on the 70th anniversary!

Your high professionalism, competence and diligence are worthy of respect. Thanks to your initiative and the activities of TAIF, major investment and social projects have been implemented and continue to be implemented in Tatarstan, which makes a significant contribution to the socio-economic development of the Republic of Tatarstan.

On this festive day, I wish you good health, happiness, family well-being and the realisation of all your plans!

Midkhat Shagiakhmetov, Deputy Prime Minister — Minister of Economy of the Republic of Tatarstan.

Dear Mr Shigabutdinov, on behalf of all financiers of the Republic of Tatarstan and on my own behalf, I sincerely congratulate you on your anniversary.

First of all, I would like to thank you for the fruitful joint work that we have been doing for more than 20 years. I would like to note that under your leadership, projects aimed at improving the socio-economic development of our republic and the country are constantly developed and implemented, and ultimately have a positive impact on the quality of life of the population. The company you lead is budget-forming. It annually increases payments to the consolidated budget of our republic. I must emphasise here that this is mainly your merit. A lot of creative projects implemented on your initiative once again prove your dedication and constant work on yourself. Radik Gayzatullin: “It is about people like Albert Kashafovich that they say: “A man with a capital letter”, “A man of words and deeds”.

Dear Albert Kashafovich, you and I grew up in neighbouring villages, and in many ways I take an example from you. Despite your high position, you always remain a sincere, open, cheerful person. Congratulating you on your birthday, I wish you and your loved ones good health, happiness, good luck, inexhaustible optimism and fulfillment of your plans.

Radik Gayzatullin, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Tatarstan.

Dear Mr Shigabutdinov, I sincerely congratulate you with my heart on the great anniversary, happy birthday.

Your impeccable reputation, great authority in the business community, I'm not afraid of this word, the outstanding results achieved under your leadership speak of your high organisational talent, professionalism and dedication. You personally and under your leadership have implemented and are implementing large-scale investment projects in the republic that are of great importance not only for the economy of the republic, but also for Russia as a whole. Of course, this is of enormous importance for us taxmen: we are well aware that investment projects mean new jobs, new tax base, taxes that will go to social and economic programmes in our country in the future.

Let me to wish you and your loved ones health, success, and well-being on this wonderful anniversary. Happy anniversary to you!

Marat Safiullin, head of the Department of the Federal Tax Service of the Republic of Tatarstan.

Living, working, building for people

“TAIF Group has never worked just for business. All its projects were closely connected with the fate of workers — tens of thousands of Tatarstan citizens working at enterprises. Therefore, the leadership of TAIF Group has always consciously borne social responsibility. Even at the initial stage of the company's work, it was decided that a significant part of the profits would always be directed to social support for the families of employees, to create comfortable living and recreation conditions, to provide education and maintain the health of their children. So it was all these years. But, in addition to the targeted support of employees, TAIF Group saw its task in creating a comfortable urban environment, in improving the lives of all citizens," Albert Shigabutdinov stressed more than once.

The opening of the renovated park and slope at the Kazan NCC. Photo: Roman Khasaev/

It was with the direct participation of TAIF in Tatarstan that the presidential programme for the elimination of dilapidated housing, unprecedented for post-perestroika Russia, was launched and implemented. Thousands of people from slums and ruins moved to new comfortable apartments. TAIF Group companies were among the first in Russia to invest in the implementation of other housing construction programmes, including mortgage construction.

The ceremony of laying a commemorative capsule at the beginning of the construction of the residential complex Salavat Kupere. Photo: courtesy of TAIF JSC press service for

Dear Mr Shigabutdinov, I sincerely congratulate you on your anniversary!

You devote all your time to the prosperity of the Republic of Tatarstan! TAIF JSC has made a significant contribution to the formation of the construction industry and the development of civil engineering in the republic. A lot of socially significant objects have been built: residential buildings, health and education institutions, administrative buildings for state purposes, sports and cultural and entertainment centres.

It is impossible not to mention the numerous programmes implemented with your participation that improve the lives of citizens. Tatarstan occupies the leading position in Russia in terms of the scale of social programmes, and you never stay away. The programme for the elimination of dilapidated housing is one of the most ambitious and important socio-economic programmes. People moved from the old houses of the 19th century to modern, comfortable apartment buildings. Thanks to the Social Mortgage programme, which is also carried out with a significant contribution from you, thousands of citizens improve their living conditions. I remember how we laid a stone in an open field under the residential district Salavat Kupere, today it is a city within a city with all the necessary infrastructure! How many other projects have been implemented with your support! The Millennium of Kazan, Universiade, the revival of cultural and historical heritage on the island-city of Sviyazhsk and in Bolgar, the construction of the Islamic Academy and the reconstruction of the Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God!

Mr Shigabutdinov, I would like to sincerely thank you for your significant contribution to the development of the construction industry in the Republic of Tatarstan, active support of significant projects. This is worthy of infinite respect! Thanks to you, we have implemented many projects aimed at improving the quality of life of citizens. On the day of your anniversary, I sincerely would like to wish you good health, family well-being, good luck in all your endeavors and the realisation of the most daring ideas and plans!

Irek Fayzullin, Minister of Construction and Housing and Communal Services of Russia.

Faced with a shortage of qualified personnel, TAIF organised the training of specialists abroad. Later, realising that it was impossible to retain employees without providing them with decent living conditions, TAIF actively invested in updating the health care system, social security, sports development and the creation of comfortable urban spaces. Albert Shigabutdinov's team was one of the first to respond to Mintimer Shaimiev's call for the revival of historical, architectural and cultural values of Tatarstan.

Talented, purposeful, hardworking, dedicated, seasoned and modest. That's how I would describe our hero of the day — Albert Kashafovich Shigabutdinov. He is one of those leaders who know life and really love people. And these are the most valuable qualities for any executive.

Albert Shigabutdinov knows and appreciates the history of our people, so TAIF finances many projects to preserve spiritual values and our rich historical heritage. We are grateful to him for the constant, tireless support of the Republican Vozrozhdenie Foundation. TAIF became one of the main benefactors of our projects. At the expense of the company's forces and funds, the complex of government buildings of the late 19th-early 20th centuries was restored in Sviyazhsk, and the museum of history of Sviyazhsk was created in it. TAIF and Tatneft PJSC jointly built the Kul Gali hotel complex in Bolgar, financed the construction of the Bulgarian Islamic Academy and the reconstruction of the Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. Today, they continue to support the project of Vozrozhdenie Foundation for the creation of multilingual educational complexes Adymnar. It was Albert Kashafovich who suggested publishing the book “Spiritual Rebirth — The Road to the Future. 2010-2021 ...”, which reflects the entire history and activities of our foundation. I know that he personally supervised this project, and therefore the result is obvious: it turned out to be a bright, beautiful and informative publication. I would advise everyone to look, if you find it, of course, because it has already become a bibliographic rarity.

Dear Mr Shigabutdinov, I sincerely congratulate you on your 70th birthday! I have had the opportunity to see your high business and human qualities more than once. I always admire your love of life and endurance!

Mintimer Shaimiev, Hero of Labour of Russia, first President of the Republic of Tatarstan, State Adviser of Tatarstan.

“I want my children and grandchildren to live here”

“I am often asked if there is a temptation to move abroad. What for? I want my children and grandchildren to live here and think about the prosperity of their native land. For many years of working in a close-knit team, we firmly know that the path of our ancestors, the path of our people is also our path. And the most intimate thing we have is the land of our mothers and fathers, our native country. The most important thing for us is that it should always be," Albert Shigabutdinov emphasises.

Albert Shigabutdinov: “I want my children and grandchildren to live here and think about the prosperity of their native land.” Photo: Roman Khasaev/

To strengthen the well-being and prosperity of the native land, to increase the well-being and comfort of the people living on it — this is the life work of Albert Shigabutdinov himself, and the team he leads, and his sons, who today are already successful businessmen themselves.

Ruslan Shigabutdinov: “Albert Kashafovich is one of those rare people who can see the whole picture and far into the future.” Photo: Roman Khasaev/

If you get the materials of the period of the 1990s — early 2000s about what plans TAIF was building, and then look at what has been implemented now, then there is no doubt: almost everything has been realised. And even with over-fulfillment.

Everyone can set goals for themselves, but not everyone will be able to achieve them. At least because not everyone has enough perseverance, knowledge, and strength. Albert Kashafovich is one of those rare people who can see the whole picture and not only now — at a certain point in time, but also far into the future. He has plenty of perseverance. At the same time, he approaches each project very carefully: he is one of those people who systematically and consistently follows the saying “measure twice, cut once”. But, if the decision is made, then you can be sure: every step, every action is calculated and thought out in advance. He also has a lot of strength. As for knowledge, I can say for sure: Albert Kashafovich is a person who is interested and, understanding where to move and why it is needed, he delves so deeply into all the subtleties and nuances that he soon clearly knows: what will be required to achieve success, what difficulties may be encountered, how they can be overcome and how to organise work so that it is interesting, effective, safe, profitable for the Group, shareholders, the republic, the country.

Albert Kashafovich generously shares his accumulated knowledge with all of us — the many thousands of employees of TAIF Group. And also, by his own example, every day of his life, he teaches boundless diligence and love for his native land.

On the day of his 70th birthday, I wish Albert Kashafovich, as a mentor and leader, undying energy and the realisation of all his plans. TAIF has a lot of them. As a son to a father, I wish you good health, well-being and allow yourself at least a little time for hobbies. Happy Birthday!

Ruslan Shigabutdinov, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of TAIF JSC.

Timur Shigabutdinov: “Understanding the principles of life, the main issues, foundations, traditions — all this our father instilled in us by personal example.” Photo: Roman Khasaev/

The most important thing is that my father gave me life both literally and figuratively. Everything that is around me now is all thanks to my parents, my father. Understanding the principles of life, the main issues, foundations, traditions — not just in the form of stories, explanations, hints, but by personal example: how he himself relates to all this, how it should be right in life. And we, and I personally, absorbed it all.

Albert Kashafovich is a multifaceted person. The most important thing: a person who sets the right goals. Moreover, they are correct not from the point of view of numerical indicators, but from the point of view of life principles, caring for others and people, and family, and colleagues. The right goals from the point of view of the Homeland and the land where a person lives. The second point: Albert Kashafovich is a man who, with hard work every day, achieves the goals he sets for himself. We all know and see the results.

On the anniversary day, I would like to wish, first of all, the most important thing — great health. This is the most basic thing that every person needs both for himself and in order to be useful to people around him — his family, friends, the republic. The second is enormous efficiency that Albert Kashafovich has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate throughout his life and the 30 years that he has been leading TAIF, we understand that it has formed life habits, but today there is an opportunity to devote some time to himself. I wish my father more rest and peace of mind. Well, one more wish: to spend a wonderful holiday with pleasure — your anniversary.

Timur Shigabutdinov, Member of the Management Board of SIBUR PLC, Managing Director of the Directorate of Synthetic Rubbers.

Arseny Favstritsky

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