Yerkin Tatishev

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Class of 2022, Kazakhstan
Yerkin Tatishev, Chairman of Kusto Group

Yerkin Tatishev digs deep to create a thriving global conglomerate.

Yerkin Tatishev has built a global powerhouse based on his belief that “there is no corporate success without community success.” He was just 22 years old when he revived a bankrupt mine and its local community, putting both on a path to sustainability that continues today. At the Kusto Group, Yerkin focuses on ensuring community and employee buy-in, with profound responsibility sharing at all levels. It’s an unusual approach in a traditionally top-down market that has led to remarkable results. 

Kusto Group has since grown into a global conglomerate employing over 8,000 people in five sectors, diversifying its operations to include oil production and downstream consumer sales, construction materials, real estate development, agriculture, and more. Yerkin attributes this incredible growth to empowering Kusto’s employees to focus on the company’s most important value: being entrepreneurial. They take risks alongside him, understand that failure is an opportunity to learn, and lead by example. 

Now focused on transforming Kazakhstan’s agriculture sector, Yerkin aims to move the country away from its dependence on non-renewable, extractive resources and toward a more sustainable future. He has worked with farmers to halve the use of irrigation water and introduced the first localized non-GMO seed production, KazSeed, made especially to suit local conditions.  

Yerkin remains one of the country’s biggest champions of its next generation of business leaders. The Yerzhan Tatishev Foundation invests in students with educational grants to study finance, economics and cultural projects — a mission to lead Kazakhstan toward a brighter future.  

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