Roustam Tariko
Roustam Tariko is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Russian history. He is of Tatar descent.

Tariko is the founder of Russian Standard Vodka, the leading premium vodka in Russia. He also founded Russian Standard Bank
Russian Standard Bank
Russian Standard Bank is one of the largest Russian banks and the country's leading consumer lender.The bank was founded in 1999 by Roustam Tariko. It dominates the consumer finance sector in Russia, and has over 54 percent control of the credit card market and over 30 percent control of the point...

, a pioneer in Russian consumer credit market and one of the top credit and term life insurers in Russia. In contrast to many other Russian businessmen, Tariko is a self-made man, having built his empire from scratch. In 2009, Tariko's net worth was estimated at $1.1 billion.

Early life

Born in the town of Menzelinsk
Menzelinsk , also spelled Minzala or Minzele, is a town in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, located on the Menzelya River , east of Kazan. Population: 15,800 . Russians account for 49.3% of the town's population, while Tatars comprise 46.8%.It was founded in 1584–1586 and was granted status of...

 in Tatarstan
The Republic of Tatarstan is a federal subject of Russia located in the Volga Federal District. Its capital is the city of Kazan, which is one of Russia's largest and most prosperous cities. The republic borders with Kirov, Ulyanovsk, Samara, and Orenburg Oblasts, and with the Mari El, Udmurt,...

 on March 17, 1962, Tariko moved to Moscow to study at the age of 17. He graduated in 1989 from the Economics faculty of Moscow Institute for Railway Engineering and got an MBA from INSEAD
INSEAD is an international graduate business school and research institution. It has campuses in Europe , Asia , and the Middle East , as well as a research center in Israel...

 in France in 2000.

Entrance to the business world

The economic reforms of the 1980s created new business opportunities, which Tariko recognized and took advantage of. Unlike many other Russian businessmen who created their empires through the privatization
Privatization in Russia
Russian privatization was the reform consisting in privatization of state-owned industrial assets that took place in Russia in the 1990s, during the presidency of Boris Yeltsin, immediately after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, where private ownership of enterprises had been illegal for a long...

 of state enterprises in the early 1990s, Tariko built his company from scratch.

While studying, Tariko had had a part-time job as a street cleaner. He says he had to get up early and clear the snow even if it was −20C. Already at this point, Tariko had an eye for making money: Tariko's first business was a small cleaning company he established with two friends.

Tariko's first major business was a hotel room brokering service, which served foreign customers at Russia's largest hostel. He charged a premium on those rooms which he had renovated at his expense.

In the late 1980s, Tariko began importing Kinder Surprise
Kinder Surprise
Kinder Surprise, also known as a Kinder Egg or, in the original Italian, Kinder Sorpresa, is a confection manufactured by Italian company Ferrero. Originally intended for children, it has the form of a chocolate egg containing a small toy, often requiring assembly.-Overview:Kinder Surprise...

 and Ferrero Rocher
Ferrero Rocher
Ferrero Rocher is a spherical chocolate sweet made by Italian chocolatier Ferrero SpA. Introduced in 1982, the chocolates consist of a whole roasted hazelnut encased in a thin wafer shell filled with hazelnut cream and covered in milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. The sweets each contain 73...

 chocolates to the Soviet Union and selling them for rubles. Previously, such goods were only available in hard currency stores closed to average Russians. Tariko parlayed his success in selling Italian chocolates into an exclusive contract to import the Martini brand. Record sales of Martini enabled him to grow his company Roust Inc. into the leading importer of premium spirits in Russia.

The venture was a success, and in 1992 Tariko founded Roust Inc., a company which became one of the largest premium product distribution companies in Russia.

Tariko completed his MBA at INSEAD in France in 2000.


Building on his success, Tariko wanted to build a Russian consumer brand which would "embody the vibrant spirit of Russia." Tariko reportedly wondered why Russia, the birthplace of vodka
Vodka , is a distilled beverage. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made by the distillation of fermented substances such as grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits....

 and the biggest vodka market in the world did not possess a domestically produced premium vodka brand. In 1998, Tariko, through his Russian Standard Company, brought to market Russian Standard Vodka Original, the first genuinely Russian premium vodka. It became an almost instant success, and quickly established itself as the number one brand of its kind in the country.

In 1999, Tariko expanded his empire into the banking business by founding Russian Standard Bank
Russian Standard Bank
Russian Standard Bank is one of the largest Russian banks and the country's leading consumer lender.The bank was founded in 1999 by Roustam Tariko. It dominates the consumer finance sector in Russia, and has over 54 percent control of the credit card market and over 30 percent control of the point...

. Today, the bank is the market leader in consumer finance and the country's largest consumer lending bank.

In total, the companies belonging to Tariko's holding company Russian Standard Corporation
Russian Standard Corporation
Russian Standard Corporation is a holding company owned by the businessman Roustam Tariko.It holds the stock of the following companies:*Russian Standard Company, the producer and distributor of Russian Standard Vodka....

 now employ over 25,000 people.

Net worth

In Forbes magazine's "World's Richest People" ranking of 2009, Tariko was listed at number 647 with an estimated wealth of $1.1 billion.

Tariko is also the owner of the Miss Russia
Miss Russia
Miss Russia is the annual national beauty pageant of Russia, responsible for selecting representatives to Miss Universe and Miss World.-History:The pageant has been running since 1992, however there was no Miss Russia 1994, 2000 or 2008....



  • The only Russian brand the world has heard of is Kalashnikov, which is not good. I want Russian people to have their own best vodka, their own best bank, their own best credit card that can sit alongside the best western equivalents."

  • I told them I can never leave [Russia]. I may have a lot of money... I may travel a lot. I may go to bed in London, in New York, in Paris or on my plane. But when I sleep I am in Russia in my mind and I wake up Russian. This country gave me everything.

External links

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