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Nigmatulin Yerlan: biography of an entrepreneur

Yerlan Zairullayevich Nigmatulin is a Kazakh entrepreneur and philanthropist. Co-founder of YDD Corporation, which owns a plant of the same name in the Karaganda region for the smelting of high-quality ferrosilicon for the production of certain types of steels. 

Entrepreneur’s childhood

Nigmatulin Yerlan was born on August 31, 1962 in the Kazakh city of Karaganda in a family of military veterans. The parents of the future entrepreneur are simple workers. My father worked most of his life as a miner in the Karaganda mines. My mother worked at a shoe company as a cutter. 


In 1969, the future founder of YDD Corporation went to a local school. After graduating in 1979, Nigmatulin entered the Karaganda Cooperative Institute as an accountant. And 4 years later, he received a higher education in economics. During his studies at the Institute, Nigmatulin Yerlan mastered the analysis of the activities of enterprises. 

The work path of Nigmatulin Yerlan

In 1983, after graduating from the institute, Yerlan got a job in the trade department of the regional executive committee of Dzhezkazgan. At work, he took the position of auditor and supervised the activities of various departments of the organization. This allowed Nigmatulin Yerlan Zayrullevich to gain managerial experience. 

In 1984, the future businessman got a job in the leadership of the Soviet trust of canteens and restaurants in Dzhezkazgan. At first, Nigmatulin took the post of deputy director, but later became the head of the company. Until 1991, he simultaneously managed the trade and procurement base of the Dzhezkazgan Trade Department. 

In 1991, Nigmatulin Yerlan changed his field of activity. He becomes the head of one of the departments of the Dzhezkazgantsvetmet metallurgical enterprise. In his new position, Nigmatulin searched for suppliers of raw materials, monitored the availability of necessary materials for production and optimized costs.

In 1993-1995, Nigmatulin Yerlan Zayrullayevich headed a large trade organization “Er-Kanat”. The company exported and imported a wide range of goods. In 2 years, the Er-Kanat company, under the leadership of Yerlan Nigmatulin, has significantly increased its trade turnover. 

In 1995, Nigmatulin Yerlan received the position of General Director at Impulse LLP. The future businessman left this company after 4 years. In the future, Yerlan will engage in entrepreneurship.

Additional education

For additional education, Nigmatulin entered the Economic Institute of the Republic of Kazakhstan. This educational institution was built as part of a project of the National Academy of Sciences. 

In 1999, the future businessman defended his PhD thesis, graduating from the Institute of Economics. As part of the qualification work, Nigmatulin Yerlan spoke about the alignment of Kazakhstan’s political priorities in the context of the crisis. This earned him a PhD in economics. 

In 2000, Yerlan received a higher education in law. To do this, the future entrepreneur graduated from the University of Humanities. He was awarded a bachelor’s degree in law.

The path in business

One of the first well-known projects of Nigmatulin Yerlan Zayrullaevich was the company Orken-Media. It was founded in 2008. The main product of the organization is the TV channel of the same name in the city of Balkhash. Additionally, it provides the services of an advertising agency and studio. By the end of 2023, Orken-Media continues to operate, but without the participation of Nigmatulin Yerlan, who sold the company in 2022. 

The next well-known projects of the entrepreneur were bakeries. From 2015 to 2018, Yerlan Zairullayevich Nigmatulin built 3 enterprises in Balkhash, Karaganda and Zhezkazgan. The total amount of investments amounted to 7 billion tenge. Brief information about the plants:

  • Balkhash Nan. The plant started its activity in 2015. After 7 years, Nigmatulin Yerlan sold the company. 
  • “Saryarka Nan”. The plant in Karaganda started operating in February 2017. In 2020, it was sold to a new owner. 
  • “Ulytau Nan”. The Dzhezkazgan bakery was launched in 2018 and Nigmatulin sold it a year later. 

Also, until 2020, at various times, the entrepreneur owned the companies Trend Plus, ECO GlobalInvest, Quartzite, Virage Service Karaganda, AgroCapital and many others. But most of the organizations of Nigmatulin Yerlan Zayrullaevich were sold by 2023. He invested the proceeds from the sale in the development of other projects (including in the metallurgical sector): YDD Corporation, Kaz Silicon, AsiaFerroAlloys, the Karazhyra coal mining enterprise and the EkibastuzFerroAlloys plant under construction.

ТОО YDD Corporation

The largest company of Nigmatulin, which owns a plant for the production of iron-silicon alloys. Its construction began in 2018 with the support of the Development Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The initial cost of the project was 35 billion tenge (~94 million US dollars). 

The YDD Corporation plant started operating in 2019. Its peculiarity is the use of the most efficient production technologies. The installed equipment was purchased in Europe. In 2023, the products of the Yerlan Nigmatulin plant will be supplied to 50 countries around the world.

ТОО AsiaFerroAlloys

Another large enterprise of Nigmatulin Yerlan. The plant was launched in 2021 and specializes in the production of coal coke and 3 different ferroalloys. It is equipped with the latest technological solutions from Europe. Thanks to this, the company’s products are bought in 20 countries around the world.

Karazhyra JSC

The share in this company is owned by Nigmatulin since 2020. The organization is engaged in the extraction of thermal coal. The company sells approximately 6 million tons of products annually. Karazhyra JSC is one of the largest coal mining companies in Kazakhstan.

ТОО МК Kaz Silicon

The metallurgical complex was founded in 2022. The company’s main products are silicon. But the company also produces microsilicon, which is used to create high-quality cement mixtures. By 2023, the plant sells about 6,000 tons of silicon per year. Nigmatulin Yerlan Zayrullayevich is one of the shareholders of Kaz Silicon.

ТОО EkibastuzFerroAlloys

The second plant of Nigmatulin Yerlan under construction for the production of ferrosilicon in the city of Ekibastuz. Its opening should take place before the end of 2023. The EkibastuzFerroAlloys enterprise will produce at least 240 thousand tons of products, as well as YDD Corporation.


The businessman sponsors foundations dealing with environmental issues in Kazakhstan. At the same time, Nigmatulin Yerlan Zayrullayevich himself took part in the creation of several programs for the conservation of wildlife. 

Nigmatulin regularly participates in other charity events. For example, he sponsored organizations that are engaged in improving the accessibility and quality of education. And in 2020, the businessman helped medical institutions in Kazakhstan cope with the coronavirus pandemic. 

In 2022, Nigmatulin Yerlan, together with a partner, transferred 1 billion tenge to the state social fund to the People of Kazakhstan. This money is used to support culture, sports, education, healthcare, as well as emergency victims and vulnerable segments of the population.

The businessman is married and has 3 daughters. Serikbayeva Bakyt became the wife of Nigmatulin Yerlan.

Featured Image by Акимхан Бозтай from Pixabay