Forbes Kazakhstan on Yerkin Tatishev’s Diamond Island Project
According to a recent Forbes report, the first ever elite residential complex in the city of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam is officially ready. Last week, a ceremony was held to celebrate the official completion of the international project, named ‘Diamond Island’. The man behind the initiative is Yerkin Tatishev, CEO and Founder of Kusto Group. Ho Chi Minh City is quickly becoming the hub of commerce and culture in Vietnam, and Diamond Island is neatly situated on a natural mini-island, ten minutes away from the center. It is described as “an island within a city.” According to Tatishev, this type of venture is a true milestone for Kusto Home, the developer unit of the holding company, Kusto Group. In a recent company press release, he stated: “This is the first and only project of this scale created by entrepreneurs from Kazakhstan in Vietnam - one of the fastest growing regions of Asia. Diamond Island is one of the best and sought-after luxury residential complexes in the real estate market in Vietnam. We, Kazakhstan businessmen, are proud of this achievement. This is the first successful experience of Kazakhstan development in the international markets in the luxury segment. We can rightly say that we have all the opportunities to successfully compete with very large companies from South Korea, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong.“ Tatishev’s Diamond Island Project
The lavish development consists of 1,323 apartments. “Phase 1 – Brilliant tower, and Phase 2, with 5 towers named after the world’s most famous resorts - Hawaii, Bora Bora, Bahamas, Maldives and Canary.” The apartments vary in size from 55 square meters, to duplex penthouses that are 500 square meters. The luxury units also enjoy private pools and meticulously landscaped gardens. Murat Utemisov, Chairman of the Board of Kusto Home has said that the elite residential complex of Diamond Island, was developed “with the participation of international architects and experts from the USA, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Australia.” The initial phase of the project was designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, in cooperation with NQH Architects Vietnam. The landscape design was realized by Thai landscape company Landsculptor. DWP, the Australian design and architecture company, picked up the second phase of development.
The complex contains over 1,300 different types of trees, giving it a ‘Four Seasons’ type feel and concept. Also featured are a yacht club, an outdoor jacuzzi, a poolside bar, sports facilities, children’s playgrounds, and a mini-water park. The residential complex boasts a wide range of amenities and a recreation area measuring eight hectares. 87% of the grounds are landscaped, making it a grassland paradise. According to the Forbes report, the total cost of the project is estimated at $400 million. As for the residents, the majority of apartments were sold before construction was completed, achieving “over 98% of sales.” Utemisov has lauded Diamond Island for being home to a diverse group of internationals, stating that “over 50% of our customers, who represent more than 25 countries of the world have already received the keys.” The company intends to further develop “new mid-end and high-end projects in Vietnam at prime locations of main cities”. The company’s dealings stretch extend far beyond property developments. Kusto Group is a holding company that was founded in 2002 and operates in Kazakhstan, Singapore, Vietnam, Ukraine, Israel, Russia, Canada, Georgia, Turkey and China. The company is tied to enterprises in a number of different sectors, such oil and gas, construction, fuel, agriculture and development. Kusto Group is composed of over 30 different companies and 8000 employees. According to Forbes Kazakhstan, Yerkin Tatishev is ranked number 11 in the 50 wealthiest businessmen in Kazakhstan and number 35 in the nation’s most influential businessmen of 2017. Tatishev owes a great deal of his experience to years spent working in the small industrial town of Zhitikara during the early 2000s. At the time, this and other ‘single-industry’ towns were deteriorating and unable to compete with the industry’s manufacturing giants. By the late 1990s, the city was collapsing due to outdated equipment, black-outs, debts and unemployment. Forbes Kazakhstan on Yerkin Tatishev’s Diamond Island Project
In an interview with Forbes Kazakhstan, Tatishev gave an account of this experience: “I was 21 years old. In Zhitikara, things were as bad as you can imagine. There were no painless aspects in the life of the enterprise and the city. But the fusion of young energy and engineering experience helped to turn the tide in five years. I myself come from Kentau and understood the principles of functioning of such cities well,” Tatishev, together with a group of young and enthusiastic industrialists, were determined to pursue radical change and progress. By 2002, the city was generating income and developing infrastructure. These “acquired competencies” matured into the foundations of Kusto Group. Recognizing that long term sustainability rests upon real-world education, the businessman founded a Project-Based Learning (PBL) school in Almaty, Kazakhstan, which allows students to work collaboratively on projects and gain practical experience in the finance industry. Tatishev also established the Yerzhan Tatishev Foundation, a non-profit organization assisting young people to develop business skills. The Foundation has also invested heavily in the High-Tech Academy and offers educational grants to students in need. Tatishev recently participated in the 2018 Bloomberg Forum, an annual gathering of the world’s top government and business leaders which aims to take on some of the most intractable global economic challenges.