Gordon Interview

How To Become a Billionaire: The Story of a Shepherd

How to surrender to Interpol correctly, as well as about how he became a direct follower of Vladimir Lenin and what is the largest amount of cash he could touch

Margulan, good afternoon!

Good afternoon!

I am glad to welcome you to Kiev.

Thank you so much.

It is very interesting for me to meet and talk to you, because you are one of the symbols of success. And I am absolutely sure that for many young people who want to dare, want to be smart, enlightened and rich, it will be interesting to know how a person from scratch, without cronyism, without connections could become a billionaire, what he understood on his way, what he realized and what he can warn against.

You were born on one of the collective farms of the Dzhezkazgan region.


Your father was a shepherd.


And the family was moving from one collective farm to another.


They did not sit still, led a nomadic lifestyle.

I was the shepherd.

Well, were you a shepherd later, when you grew up?


What kind of life was it, when you were roaming?

My father was transferred every five years. At that time there was a party system, it was not his free expression of will, but the party directed. There is no field cultivation in one of the state farms – they send him there. Therefore, we, as a family, had to wander.

Not every village had a ten-year school – there were eight. My two brothers studied in the regional center in a boarding school. And I was thrown… I graduated from the first grade in a Kazakh school, then from the second to the sixth grade I studied in a Russian school, from the sixth to the tenth grade again in a Kazakh one. Of course, I was not that outraged – I really did not like jumping from school to school, losing friends all the time, changing the environment. But over time it bore fruit, because I speak Kazakh fluently and speak Russian fluently.

When parents wander from village to village, this gives the skill of adaptability and survival. This, I believe, is one of the valuable qualities that nature has developed in us. Adaptability is not in that negative way when you bend under someone. No, these are just the first social skills: to be able to stand up for yourself, where it is necessary – to fight, where it is necessary – to make friends, where it is necessary – to accept someone else’s point of view. And since my environment has often changed since childhood, each time I had to draw conclusions about where I was right, where I was wrong, why I got hit in the head, relatively speaking.

Did you have to get it?

I had to. We must also take into account that at that time – and not only at that time, now, too, probably – there was a cult of power in the remote villages. I still envy many of my friends who grew up in the city, for example, in Almaty. They are intelligent people. I divide this way: there are intelligent people who have genes, the DNA of the intelligentsia – they cannot act mean, they cannot be dishonest, they cannot take bribes. There is a category of people who were brought up in intelligent families and were saturated with it. They, too, cannot do anything vile, bad, they are decent in education. And there is a third type of people who become decent because they choose to be decent. I belong more to the third category of people, because when I was growing up in village, there was a cult of power, there…

… who is stronger is right, right?

The weak were not particularly considered. You are either strong or a fool.

Was the weak beaten?

Yes, often. Not for the purpose of humiliation, but simply to find out who is stronger and who is weaker. At the same time, of course, the village gives a lot of good things in upbringing: respect for adults, for girls. This was all observed in communication between the guys.

Over time, I thought about decency, because I have a little quirk on this background. And I realized that being decent is more effective. There are moral laws and there are legal ones. If you violate legal laws, once you have something to steal, the second time it works, the third time they catch you – they will immediately take away everything that you have stolen, and your future will be given a term. When you break moral laws – the same thing. Throws you back all the time. Therefore, being decent is super effective.

Kazakhs are very heterogeneous. You come from the Baganaly clan, the Naiman tribe. What kind of clan and what kind of tribe is it?

In general, Kazakhs are not a mononation, it happened historically. This is essentially an unification of several tribes who decided that, from now on, we will be called Kazakhs and we are one nation. It is customary for Kazakhs to share kinship, everyone should know their seven generations so that there is no incest.

Wow! Otherwise, you can’t get married?

Yes, it has practical value. Otherwise you cannot marry. And, probably, this gives a strong genotype. Although then our ancestors did not know about genes. This is the wisdom of the ages. Therefore, Kazakhs are divided by clan and tribes. My grandfather is a descendant of Naiman.

I served in the army with the Kazakhs and the Kyrgyz. I remember my friend, a Kyrgyz, said: “Kazakh and Kyrgyz were born side by side”. Are Kazakhs and Kyrgyz similar?

Yes and no. As far as I know, the Kyrgyz homeland is Baikal, Altai. Then they came from there and settled where Issyk-Kul was. Then there were no state borders. In this regard, the Kyrgyz are probably more like the Altai. Well, in that direction – right? Kazakhs understand the differences between Kazakhs and Kyrgyz. At the same time, these are brothers very close to us. Our language is very similar. Well, as you have a Slavic group, Ukrainians, Russians, Belarusians, we have a Turkic group. We can easily understand the Kyrgyz and they can understand us when we speak our language.

Everyone went to universities, and we went to graze two flocks of sheep

After school, you worked for two years as a shepherd and also as a senior beekeeper on a state farm.


Was there romance?

Oh, you know, this is not romance. I have one problem: I am a person subject to ideology. All my life I believed and continue to believe in ideas. For me, the idea is primary, the action, life and so on are secondary. When I graduated from school, the party threw a cry – to create a Komsomol youth brigade and work in the village as shepherds. In our class, everyone went to enroll in universities. Kazakhs will send their child to a higher educational institution for sure. Moreover, Kazakhs are such a nation: if your son went to the Dzhezkazgan Institute, then you are a loser. Necessarily either to Almaty or to Moscow.

And now – abroad?

Yes. And it turned out that everyone went to universities, and we, four fools, went to graze two flocks of sheep. Voluntarily. We were paid a penny of money. The work, of course, was hellish. Day and night, seven days a week. Rises at five in the morning – we go to bed at 12 o’clock almost. In winter – hell. In the spring, when the lamb is coming, you sleep in the kennel with the sheep so that you can take the lamb from under the womb, because the first-born does not recognize her lamb. You tie him a red ribbon, her a red ribbon, another – a yellow one, so that in the daytime you can catch this ewe and feed the lamb, so as not to confuse. You separate them into a separate enclosure… And one by one, you sleep in this barn among the manure, you sleep with the rams. This usually lasts 40 days, we call the lambing period “sahman”. When the day feeds the year. It depends on 40 days what result you will have and, accordingly, encouragement. Well, what kind of encouragement is there for us? We worked, in fact, like slaves there.

Was it interesting with the bees?

My father has been enterprising, restless, energetic all his life. In 1982, he read a small note in Rural Life: whoever keeps bees will provide for himself and his family for several generations. Began to be interested in this topic. By the way, do you know that the first decree of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was to exempt beekeepers from taxes?


Yes. He found this decree, studied everything about beekeeping, went to the district committee of the party, reached the regional committee with the idea of opening a beekeeping shop at the state farm. To which he was told that there are no honey plants in the plants, that nothing really blooms in the steppe, and secondly, “you have no education.”

My father, without thinking twice, entered the Kiev Veterinary Institute in 1982. He was 61 years old, he studied in absentia for two years. I wasted no time: in this state farm I planted alfalfa, sainfoin, sunflower, buckwheat along the river. The four coolest honey plants. Made special irrigated meadows.

Two years later he turned again to the regional party committee, then to the regional party committee and said: “We have a lot of honey plants, they are disappearing.” They say to him: “Why did you plant honey plants in everything?” We are laying in silos, and the livestock growth has gone up sharply. And here honey is lost for the national economy. ” In short, justified. They say to him: “You have no education.” And then he takes out a crust: “Already there.”

Awesome story!

There was a special decision of the regional party committee, he was allowed to open an apiary at the state farm. I was also fascinated by this at that time together with him, I read books. I worked as a shepherd for a year and a half, he pulled me out of there – and I became the senior beekeeper of the state farm. For six months I served 150 bee colonies. At that time, the state had one beekeeper serving 220 bee colonies. Well, we didn’t have enough, but 150 was already a pretty good figure.

Two years of communication with sheep, rams and bees, what did you get?

Lots of. I remember one of the days when I was herding sheep. It was a hot afternoon, a haze. And such a feeling arose – here is deja vu, as if it had already happened. You get into some kind of stream of consciousness and think: “Damn, where am I?”


For some reason, this thought pierced me directly that day. I thought: what’s the point? In his own way he answered the question about the meaning of life, why I live. No, that won’t work, I don’t agree. It started with this disagreement … I started reading books and beekeeping started. Beekeeping compared to rams – at that time it was like technology. So I was quoted there.

Margulan, where did you get that Nigerian accent?

Not being a loser, you entered the Kirov University in Almaty, did not stay in Dzhezkazgan.


And as a student, during a meeting of the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev, they wrote him a note with students.

Yes, it was.

Which one?

Will be back one step earlier. After shepherding and beekeeping, I joined the Soviet army. I wrote applications twice to send me to Afghanistan. I was not sent.

Why did they want to go to Afghanistan?

Because the party said that I must fight. Then I studied at the Kuibyshev school, training – six months, as a gunner-operator of an infantry fighting vehicle. There we launched ATGMs, each, at that time, as they said, cost from a Zhiguli. I was the only one from the regiment who hit the target – and they gave me leave. But they didn’t let me go, because the training was over. Sent to Poland. I served there for a year and a half.

My dream has always been to become a gamekeeper. I love nature, I wanted to protect it. At that time in the Soviet Union, only the Irkutsk Agricultural Institute trained two hunting experts, and the Moscow Fur and Fur Department trained two hunting experts. I got in touch with the Irkutsk one, because the fur department trained special hunters for fur animals. I contacted both the dean and the teachers, they were already waiting for me. They said, “We’re tired of you!”

I was really sick with this. By the way, I still have subscriptions to the magazine “Okhota and Hunting Economy” since 1947, the whole house is in these subscriptions. So, I come from the army glad that the Irkutsk institute is waiting for me, I announce at home. And then my mother pounces on me: “Here you are! Are you going to wander around all the steppes without a wife, without a family?” God forbid, they still shoot. What kind of vagrant is this? “

It is logical.

“All my life I dreamed that my son was a district prosecutor.” She dissuaded her father, persuaded the brothers. In short, the whole family attacked me. And since we are Asians, family people, and for us the opinion of relatives, relatives is of great importance, then … I agreed to enter the law faculty of KazNU. This was the first Kolbinsky set.

Yes, Gennady Kolbin was then the first secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan

The first set was the most democratic: there were cameras, and the parents outside watched which ticket the applicant was pulling out, how he answered. Live.

In June I came to the preparatory courses, a month and a half. I immediately came to the teacher and asked: “What do I need to do to pass your subject with excellent marks?” Compiled a list of books on social studies, history, and the history of the CPSU. And the Russian language is a composition. I took these lists – I counted the pages. It turned out, for example, 1150 pages should be studied on this subject. I mastered 50 pages a day well. If I read it in the morning, I repeated it in the evening. I calculated how many days I had to read, added three days of the buffer, and went blissed out.

You are a systemic person.

The date came – I started to prepare. Every evening we play football, I stood at the goal – and at 19.00 I drop everything and leave. The guys were angry: “Where are you going all the time? If you drop the game, you break our buzz. ” I say, “I have a repetition on schedule.” They started asking what the plans were. I say: “The plans are to enter. Then become an excellent student, then a Kirov scholar, then a Lenin scholar, then graduate with honors. ” They let’s laugh at me. And the nickname Planova stuck to me. But I didn’t know the implication that “planned” is the drug addict’s class. I thought “planned” – from the word “plan.”

(They laugh.)

I was pleased to be called planned. And they laugh, strange … Well, okay.

And so it happened. I passed the exams, entered, became a Kirov scholar. Then the scholarship was 20 rubles. For good players – 40 rubles. For excellent students – 60 rubles.


I was from Kirov, I was a scholar of Al-Farabi, I took a Lenin scholarship. Received 120 rubles. As a result, he graduated from the university in four years as an external student with honors.

When I was studying – it was all easy for me – I decided to study English. There were no foreigners then. There was no one to learn from, there weren’t even such courses. I bought a dictionary for 10 thousand words, English-Russian and Russian-English, tied it to my arm so that it could not slide. And I bet with the guys that I will not take it off until 10 people open it to 10 random pages and name 10 words, and I have to say the translation. For almost two years I wore this dictionary on my arm, put on a bag in the shower, fastened it with an elastic band and washed … The dictionary is on my hand all the time, you go on the bus – once! All the same, I spattered this dictionary, he slept with me, ate, went to the toilet, washed. Non-removable. He specially went to the circus, found Africans there – and began to speak with them in English. And they have some strange English. I did not know then that the Nigerians have their own accent, the Ethiopians have a different one. I tried to communicate with them somehow …

Looking ahead, I will say: when I participated in the Peace March and the Americans came, I was there as a translator from Kazakh into English and from English into Kazakh. The only translator, although there were foreign language teachers. Because they did not understand Kazakh well. So the Americans have always told me: “Margulan, where did you get that Nigerian accent?”

(They laugh.)

So, I am finishing my third year. They said: the first secretary will meet with the students at the AHBK Palace of Culture. About 10 thousand people …

And at that time we were so sick … Here are the authors of my textbooks, I remember, Litvinov was, “Theory of State and Law”, in my opinion … He taught at Moscow State University. And I went to Moscow State University to lecture these professors. I went there. When I was listening to his lectures, I walked past the dormitory of Moscow State University and saw the book by Dale Carnegie “How to Make Friends and Influence People.” I bought this book and loved it so much!

When I was told that there would be a meeting with Nazarbayev, I thought: “Let me try these methods.” And he began to write a letter: “Dear Nursultan Abishevich, I am such and such, indiscriminate guy, I graduated from a Kazakh school, worked as a shepherd, served in the army, entered KazNU, became a Lenin scholar, I speak English fluently. I’m cramped here – send me abroad. “


And he sent. And he thought: the country needs Pavka Morozov. The ideological image of the new Kazakh, who speaks English, who studies well, who is from the hinterland …

Pavka Korchagin, perhaps?

Yes, Pavka Korchagin. Morozov is a scoundrel.

He betrayed his parents.

Yes Yes. Korchagin. Will you cut?

No, okay, people will understand. We recovered.

I wrote this letter and passed it through the ranks without a second thought. Suddenly Nazarbayev comes to the podium and reads out my letter. I went nuts, of course.

I would also!

He asks: “Who is this guy? Let him rise. ” I wake up. The whole room is looking at me. He says: “These are the people I need, these are the people I will build the future of Kazakhstan with. Come with me”. I was immediately under the white hands – and to his residence. We arrived, a large oval table, he is sitting, the Minister of Education, the mayor of the city, the dean of the faculty of the University of California Axel Leyonhufwood – I still remember the names – and Chan Yan Bang, who later became the rector of KIMEP University. He also taught at that university in California then.


Probably, we drank tea for an hour. And such an interrogation: where, what, how … Well, I answer all the questions. At the end, the president turned to Axel Leyonhufwood: “My request: take this guy to your university.” Then there was no Bolashak program yet. He says: “Okay, we will accept.” Everything is cool, like a happy ending. It was in December. I wait, wait, wait. They don’t send me.

At some point, I am informed that either eight or 12 people, relatives of officials, have left. Me: “Fuck yourself!” All my life I was without a king in my head. Some student … I say to the minister: “This way and that, the president promised me, you heard that.” And then the student newspaper “Horizon” appeared. I said: “Either I’m making a fuss, or you will allow me to take the fourth and fifth course externally in one year.” He says: “Who are you? Who do you think you are? The last time Vladimir Ilyich Lenin did this was when he graduated from the Sverdlovsk Law Institute. ” “Well, – I say, – there has been no precedent for a long time, it turns out, we need to refresh.” He says: “Okay, write a statement, but I have one condition: you will agree with the rector yourself.” – “Okay, put up a visa.” He put a visa on the application.

I go to the rector: “This is the situation, let me pass it.” He replies: “Okay, the minister has issued a visa – I’ll give you permission. But because of you, I will not break the courses, so you yourself adjust. If you do not study well, we will throw you out. ” – “OK, deal”. And I studied in the morning for the fourth year, in the afternoon – for the fifth year. At that time – you know how the sessions were passed. It was a nightmare for students.


How about me? Fourth year credit this morning. In the evening – for the fifth year. Tomorrow morning there is an exam for the fourth, then – the exam for the fifth. And I had a hell of a month and a half. But I finished the fourth and fifth courses in one year, passed it with honors and received a diploma number one.

Immediately after graduation, you became a successful businessman and opened a private company. “Seimar Commerce” was called, right?


She was engaged in the export of Kazakh wheat to the CIS countries. After what you told me, I understand that God himself ordered you to do business – with such determination and with such an education … But people who do not know this probably think: “Yeah, everything is not easy. Probably, someone protected him, someone moved him, someone pushed him, someone gave him money, start-up capital. ” How was it really?

In fact, it was like this: I always wanted to do business. As soon as I graduated from niversitextern, the first thing I did was to register a company: a private commercial firm “Seimar Commerce”. And since there were no employees, I suggested to my fellow students: “Let you work for me …” And they don’t go as an external student. “If we don’t succeed,” I say, and this was in November, “then in the spring you will go to your jobs on assignment.”



“And if we succeed, then I’ll buy you out.” At that time, the practice was introduced that graduates must be bought out in order to receive free distribution. Young people, probably, will not understand this, but I think that generation understands everything … So: in November 1991 we registered a private commercial company. Okay, happy everyone, we think: we have a business! I think: “We are doing something wrong.” How to make money, nobody knows. The only business textbook I’ve read in my life is Theodore Dreiser’s Trilogy of Desire. “Financier”. “Stoic”.

And Titan.

Yes. About Frank Cowperwood. There weren’t many railways. What to buy? I ask a fellow student: But when did you register, what did you see? “” In the Department of Justice, – he says, – a crowd of people. Everyone wants to do business. ” I say, “Okay. What problem do we have now? “He:” What problem? We have no business. ” – “No no no. Where are we now? “There was no office – we were sitting in the hall of my apartment. I say: “We have no furniture. We don’t have an office table, we don’t have chairs. So? Doesn’t everyone have that? “

And it must be the same: it coincided like that. On November 8, I have a marriage registration with my wife. We go to the registry office, and I liked the woman’s chair in the registry office … She reads out: “Do you agree to marry …” And at this time I rummage under the chair and say: “Yes, yes, yes, I agree, I agree


And – again! Previously, in Soviet times, the label was glued from below. My wife is sitting next to me – she won’t understand. I put my hand under her chair – and the second label …

(They laugh.)

It turned out that the tables are made at the Almaty factory “Incomebel”, and the chairs are made at the Kokchetav furniture factory. The guys immediately sat down, went and agreed. A carriage of chairs, a carriage of tables. But now money is needed. At that time, Germany opened a special bank, it was called – “revival”. For the Germans, so that they do not go to Germany. One of my employees was Robert Steiner. I say, “Robert, your star has risen.”

(They laugh.)

Robert goes to this one and threatens Germany with his return. Germany replies to him: “And 100 pieces of Ostap Ibrahimovich will not suit?” Well, we are under a contract. A car of chairs, a car of that …


“Yes,” we said, “it will.”

Not German marks?

Dollars. We took these dollars and bought wagons of chairs – we just sold out everything. We liked it and started practicing. Then we moved our office to the territory of the Incomebel factory. And then…

And then you bought a factory?

We got to that. We already wanted to buy a factory. But then we realized that it turns out that you can earn more on grain. And we went to deal with grain, export.

That is, it’s good that you got married. If there was no registration, there would be nothing: no furniture, no wheat …

No, well, I would not have found it necessarily in the registry office … Then I would have ripped off the label somewhere in another institution.

My first 13 millions were brought to me at KamAZ loaded with onions

What other business were you in besides furniture and wheat?


No, in general, throughout the entire business life.

Well, I’ve done pretty much everything I can. Telecommunications, finance – all types: banks, leasing, forfeiting, and forwarding … Well, that’s it. Brokerage, dealer activities. This is also the industry. He built a waste paper processing plant and a paper mill. He is still a monopolist in Kazakhstan, the only one. This is the production of rice, wheat, flour, eggs, chicken, apples, plums, apricots, cherries, soybean oil, soybean meal, soy itself … This is education, these are schools, these are universities, kindergartens. Coal mining, oil production, construction, development …


Well, it’s hard to name what I didn’t do.

How old were you when you made your first million dollars?

I am often asked this question … I did not have the first million, several at once. It was 1994. I was 28 years old.

How old were you when you made your first billion?

I, again, did not have the first billion – I had four at once.

(They laugh.)

In 1994, I earned not a million, but 13 million at once. This was an advance payment from the Uzbek government for the supply of wheat. And in cash.


Yes. They were brought to me at KamAZ. At night. In a KamAZ loaded with onions.

Where were they delivered to you? Home?

Straight home.

And you are at home, from KamAZ you unloaded $ 13 million?

Yes. But in rubles.

What are your feelings?

Hurray, tomorrow we will buy wheat.

Is everything trite?

I have never felt reverence for money. Money has always been a tool for me. If you need to hammer in a lot of nails and they brought you a hammer, what are your feelings? You are not happy with the hammer, but you are glad that now you can pound nails. So it is here.

The same goes for the billion. Why, as I say, the first was not there? Because I had half a billion deals before. I was selling two cellular companies. Each – almost half a billion. Then the bank – again!

Have you even entered the London Stock Exchange?

Yes, in 2007. I sold 17% of Alliance Bank for $ 720 million. And the bank’s capitalization was $ 4 billion.

When did you feel these four billion, how did you feel? Or nails again?

Same. Came from London, my friend came to me, we sat on a swing, I remember, in the yard, and he said: “Che, how?” – “Well, how?”

(They laugh.)

I thought he heard rumors that I was sick. “No,” he says, “how do you feel as a billionaire?” It didn’t make me feel anything.

Is it true that you have no office, no secretary, no bodyguard, and the whole staff is one unit – the driver?

Yes, this is absolutely true. You see, when I was a very rich man and there were difficult times, I had a staff of bodyguards, an escort car. followed me. Gelendvagen And all the time I dreamed of walking, without security, along the Arbat. I thought: “What happy people walk! How can I build my life so that I am not afraid of anything, be rich and just walk down the street, watch people paint pictures and musicians play instruments?” Then there was an insight, let’s say. This is an anchor thought, right? I am on a yacht, I have 21 staff …

On your yacht?

Yes, the yacht is mine. 71 meters, swimming pool on board, the best helicopter in the world – The most sophisticated. € 17 million was worth.

Let’s just say: did you have your own plane?

Yes of course.


Challenger 604.

The helicopter alone?

There were three helicopters. Two, one cargo, the other passenger, And like a helicopter mistress.


There was only one yacht. But I am planning to buy another one to deliver on the Pacific coast.

And now you are sitting on your yacht …

… and I have a thought. I think: everything seems to be mine, but de facto everything is not mine. I felt like a renter of life. There is no sense of the owner. I sit on my yacht, but I do not believe and do not accept that I am the owner. Why? Began to analyze. The crew lives on it for 12 months a year. It goes wherever I tell it, with me. I use the yacht for one and a half to two months a year. The rest of the time it is used by my crew, I pay them money all this time, they live on this yacht.

And they get high?

When I rent a yacht to other clients, they still enjoy it.

Have you rented?

Yes. Well, there were not many applicants, because a week cost $ 400 thousand … And I thought – the fig? What am I taking the time to provide these guys with a beautiful life? And at some point I was pushed that, damn it, this is not my life, but rented. I decided that I would change my life. Even to his my guys I said: “By the age of 45, I will quit doing business, because it is absolutely pointless occupation, making money.” Well, Allah heard it – and then everything was taken from me.

(They laugh.)

How much money did you have the most at one time?


Well, let’s say cash and that’s it.

And in the account?


Not in capitalization, but in the account?


Ok I will tell. $ 780 million in the account.

What about cash?

I probably touched $ 12 million. This is roughly like your chair, a cube is roughly.

When you touched the dollars tactilely, nothing happened to you?


I found the Interpol office and knocked

How much money have you lost the most overnight?

Five billion 800 million.


Dollars, of course.

What happened to you?

They took everything from me. Bank, oil company, construction company, the entire holding.


State. In 2009, the state took away my bank and my entire business, and initiated a bunch of criminal cases. In my opinion, five or six: an organized criminal group, the creation of an organized criminal community … That is, almost for life. They accused me of stealing $ 1 billion from the bank. From 2009 to 2016, I spent seven years in the courts. Sued endlessly. I went to court in London, in Zurich …

… there Liechtenstein pushed against you, Switzerland pushed …

… Liechtenstein, Zurich … The FBI was looking after me. Swiss Federal Bureau of Investigation, not American.

And Kazakhstan?

Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, London, Dubai – five places at a time. I was wanted by Interpol. If you go to the Internet, you will see a “red card”: “a particularly dangerous criminal is wanted.” And there is: “shoot when detained.” I.e…

That is, you were one of those who “shoot during arrest”?

Yes. If I tried to escape, they could shoot me.

Where did you live during the courts?

When I realized that I would be persecuted, I left for Dubai, lived there for a certain time, then went to London, then went to Moscow, then returned to Dubai. The difficulty was that I wanted to prove that I was right, that I did not steal anything, I wanted to involve international law firms and audit companies. And then I realized that there is no justice in the world.

Even in London?

Nowhere in the world. All major law firms refused to serve me.

And for a lot of money?

For any. I ask, “Why?” As a result, we get that we litigated so much time for free. ” And the auditing companies also refused. What I’ve done? I hired an assistant in Dubai, and I made such a sheet for the whole scheme. Raised all the transactions that I did when I deposited money into the bank’s capital. Then, when I did all this, I went to Switzerland to surrender.

Give up?

Well, the Swiss authorities better surrender. And also only a Swiss law firm took on me. And that is because I personally contacted this lawyer, described my problem to him, and he was imbued with it. I went to the prosecutor of Zurich, he said: “Prove to me that you did not steal and did not withdraw money.” I laid this sheet for him on the wall. He looked, “Well, I can’t trust you. Who can verify? “I say,” Well, nobody. ” He says, “Think.” I say: “The burden of proof should not be on me.”

At the trial.

Always on the one who blames. He says: “Well, you’re a lawyer, you know: yes, formally so. But you enter into my position. Do I have to prove that you are not guilty? This is your problem. “

And I got it. I finally found the BDO office through lawyers. This, in my opinion, is now the fourth auditing company in the world. And there is also a company that is looking for stolen and withdrawn money. I hired them: “Here,” I say, “let’s try to prove that I stole the money.” From the opposite.

(Laughing) Nice move!

You seem to be cooperating with the investigation, and not with me, even though the customer is me. I say: “Try to prove that I stole the money. Ask me questions – I will show you, and you certify. ” They sent a team to Dubai and we went through all the schemes. The circuit was about two and a half meters high and four meters long. Then they assured me, went to Zurich with me and told the Zurich prosecutor that “yes, we went through the transactions, we made sure: the money went to the bank, he is right.” The Zurich prosecutor issued an order to discontinue the criminal case in the absence of a crime event. No composition – the events of the crime.


After that, my hands were freed a little, I went to Liechtenstein, there …


… filed a lawsuit. And there the court closed the criminal case for the absence of a crime event.

And the British closed it?

The British are the very last. Then I surrendered to Interpol. This was a separate story. I found the Interpol office, knock: “I am such and such.” They say, “What do you want?” – “Who are you?”

“Who are you to surrender to us?”

They say: “Well, go along the corridor – there is an office.” I go, knock, go in – two are sitting. One – with his back to me: “What do you need?” He’s like, “It’s not a joke here.” – “No, I want to surrender.” – “Last name?” And I feel: my foot presses the button. I realized that now it will be “muzzle on the floor.” I immediately got ready, stood up to the wall. Then they run in, they twisted my hands … And they took me to the prison, the Interpol prison is nearby. But I said: “I myself came to surrender. Fix this moment. “

I spent three days there, because it was closer to the weekend. Then I was taken to the public prosecutor. Such a respectable Arab with a black beard. I was surprised at how quickly it all happened. Before him is my criminal case. They seem to have made a request. He says, “Do you feel guilty?” – “Do you admit to all these accusations?” – “Where do you want to defend yourself?” – “Good”. He says to the police: “Give your passport, it’s free.”


My lawyer and I took the passport, went out and then began to prepare for the defense. That’s how Interpol was removed from me.

Then we had negotiations with the authorities of Kazakhstan: I insisted that I was not to blame. He even wrote an open letter: “I understand the reason why you took it away from me. You had to show creditors that the shareholders were to blame in order to write off most of the accounts payable of the banking system. You wrote off 92%, that’s all, the world was signed. Now drop the charges. Because – yes, I understand, I performed some kind of scarecrow function. But now, in fact, I am not to blame. “

There was a counter demand that, firstly, I should not be involved in politics. Well, and secondly, so that I have no counter-demands. I agreed and came to Kazakhstan. I went to the courts for two more years as if I were going to work. And at that time I still had a trial in London, I think, four or five years.

But everything is over, all the courts have dropped the charges against you?

Of the six articles, I think five were removed. One article was re-qualified. It goes like this: “Misuse of trust and illegal use of bank money.” No, no, I’m lying: “Abuse of trust and abuse of authority.” They gave him two years probation.

Are you a rich man today?


But isn’t that a billion?

No, not a billion. I don’t need a billion.

How much does a person of your level need to feel

I counted, and so, and so, various mathematics … I have budgets when I was spending on what …

Is 100 million enough?

100 million is exactly the figure above which it is pointless to make money.

We have not conspired with you, see?

Yes. Further – it is simply pointless. Another very important point is how to relate to making money and to money? Many people ask me about money: “How much did you want to earn? How do you make money? “I have a slightly different attitude to this whole process. Mikheil Saakashvili says to me: “This is the first time I see a person who has lost so much money and is such an optimist.”

(They laugh.)

In general, I treat this life from the point of view of a scientist. For me, business, investment and social activities are like laboratories where I test my hypotheses. If I do something somewhere, messed up, made a mistake – I start to analyze. Immediately I write myself a rule: don’t do this anymore, there will be such and such a problem. I have everything standardized.

I read on the forum, this was not a topic for a presentation to the public, but my procedure on the basis of which I work. When I make an investment, I follow it, it is very important for me to always follow the correct decision-making process. Because I cannot be responsible for a favorable result – there is always a chance between your decision and the result. And you don’t know which way it will turn. You can even do everything right, but not succeed. Or you can do something wrong and succeed.

I’ll give you an example. You leave the house – look at the weather forecast: 15% chance of rain. You think, “What is 15 percent?” And next time you think, “Damn, the decision not to take the umbrella was bad.” But in fact it was correct. You have looked at the forecast. It’s just that 15 percent is not zero percent. They also happen sometime. Well, it happened like this. That is, continue with the correct decision-making procedure.

And so I am doing this kind of research work to improve my life. This is efficiency gain. And by the way, I adjust my moral qualities to this. That is, I corrode in myself all those qualities that interfere with my effectiveness. I destroy everything that bothers me … I have accepted such a mission for myself – to live a happy life, for the benefit of society and the environment, refusing everything that does not fall into this spectrum.

And in the office it is often confused whether you are a friend or a businessman

Did they often want to kill you?

There were several attempts in the 90s. Once there was an attempt when I gave a loan for $ 1 million to my fellow student …

… a holy cause …

… who served time. But I always admired him, because he was just very smart, at the university he was an excellent student. He studied one year older than me.

And he wanted to kill so as not to give the loan?

Yes. He went to jail because he started doing business early: in Moscow they took him because of a computer, there, something like that … He served time, came to me and said: “Margulan, besides you, I have no one to rely on. Help. You know I’m capable. ” And I gave him a million dollars in cash. And then, so as not to return, he ordered all the brothers. At the time, it was $ 10,000. But we caught the performers there. When they fired, they were caught up.

They shot, right?

Yes. They were shooting from a TT pistol and a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

Did they shoot you?

There was such a situation. For some reason I decided to enter the office that time through the front door. And my brother was late and came to another entrance. They started shooting at him from a machine gun, he ran into the entrance, a killer ran after him, started shooting from TT. He fired once, struck … Well, they don’t show on themselves … Chest. But he didn’t touch anything. The guard ran out, saw him, bent down … He shot the guard … The bullet passed along the back, but did not touch the vital organs. And the TT, the world’s most reliable pistol, stuck.

Chicago straight!

And he threw down his weapon, began to run away. And my friend Misha Amanat was sitting in the car. He heard shooting and ran after him. Thin guy, but knocked this Chechen, twisted. This was a Chechen. This is how we caught the performer.

And before that, it was also an interesting story. The same guys, we are sitting at home. I live in the village of Put Ilyich. And just imagine: Aunt Masha’s barn: neighbors, and here is a yard, 20 meters – and the entrance to my house. And in the depths of the yurt stands. It is illuminated at night, here dogs walk, Alabai. They are not evil. My brother and I are watching a series of some kind, and they are waiting for us. It turns out that they did not wait – at three o’clock in the morning they shot our dogs and ran away. And there there was literally half an hour left for the series to end, and we would have walked along this bright … They were waiting for us to walk through the bright to shoot us. Here is such an accident.

Have your friends and partners often thrown you?

Oh, this is my problem. Often. But you know, I don’t blame anyone in this world. I have no enemies at all.

People are people.

I proceed from the fact that I am to blame for everything. This is my rule of thumb: blame yourself for everything. I do not accuse the authorities, nor my friends and partners – scammers. No one. I gave a reason, I did something wrong, so I was thrown. And I change my rules every time. Every time something happens, I analyze …

I have written down to myself a few conclusions that you have drawn over a long life – I almost said “in art” – in business.


The government can be thrown like bandits.

Easy. Because the government represents strength and the government always has one more cartridge.

Business and friendship are incompatible.

Yes. Because you need to clearly understand whether you are a friend or a businessman in this case. And in the office it is often confused. In the same way that the investor and the businessman are incompatible. These are two different chairs.

You cannot lend to anyone.

Absolutely agree. Moreover – at interest.

(Smiles.) You should never hire the relatives of officials.

In general, this is a rule that must be carved in stone.

You should never deal with bandits.

This is also an iron rule. No matter how beautiful they are, they are still bandits, and you cannot deal with them.

Wealth must not only be legal, but also legitimate.

I derived this rule for myself after the bank was taken away from me and no one stood up for me. I realized that my wealth was legitimate, but not legitimate. What’s the Difference? Legitimacy is a state in which society recognizes your right to your wealth. And if you earned money legally, but not in accordance with the morality of society, then society says: “Yes, of course, you are rich by law, and we have nothing to show you, but you are illegitimate.” I was in that status.

I am against pogroms and revolutions

You met Elbasy, Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev, when.


What do you think of him?

At first, I really admired him. In the early 90s, he was a really charismatic leader, probably the best president in the post-Soviet space.


At that time I did not have many examples in front of my eyes and politically I was not that much savvy, but I will say: so many years have passed, but my opinion at that time was absolutely correct.

Is he a wise man?

Very wise. Over the years, of course, there has been evolution. And now I’m not quite that opinion … When assessing any leader, I have the following scale: there is love, there is fear. He rules over love or fear. Love personifies gingerbread. The one who controls the gingerbread is loved. The one who controls the whip is feared. But these are instruments of management, instruments of power.

There is also a stick and a carrot.

So I say: the whip breeds fear, and the carrot breeds love. Two poles, right? At first, my attitude towards him was like this: more love, more. Because I believed that he was a person who did a lot for the country. Over time, unfortunately, the whip began to dominate. I am exactly the person who received a lot of whips. Naturally, I am afraid not so much of him as of the repressive apparatus.

Where is respect on this scale? I believe that respect is gained when the leader finds the right recipe for the ratio of these dishes, carrots and sticks. And if the leader is too soft and only feeds with gingerbread, people at some point will stop being afraid. If he only hits, that’s bad too. And the leader who …

… keeps balance?

… between the carrot and the whip, between love and fear, in the right place.

Do you have a relationship with Nursultan Abishevich today?

No, not long ago. I would say so: I recognize all his merits. Of course, being in Kazakhstan, it is difficult to assess him, because there is a lot of negativity. But since I often travel abroad and see other examples, my assessment approaches, perhaps, to an objective one. I do not have such a directly brightly negative attitude towards him. Because I try to put others in his place and I understand that it would be even much worse, maybe.

At the same time, I believe that the country must evolve, the country must move forward. We need to make political reforms. This is a fundamentally important point. And the new president, when he started, said that economic development is impossible without political reforms.

Well, he was just a revolutionary then.

Yes. But so far, unfortunately, we are slipping.

Is it true that at one time you were close to Dariga Nazarbayeva, the daughter of Nursultan Abishevich?

An absolute lie. I don’t even know her. This is a myth, divorced from reality!

Who is in charge of Kazakhstan now? Nursultan Nazarbayev or Kassym-Jomart Tokayev?

Operational leadership – Tokayev, and in fact – Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Is Tokayev an interesting person?

Certainly. A very educated person. Still, he worked in such organizations, the world has seen. I think as a person he is very interesting and intelligent. He is precisely intelligent, good education.

Are you going to big politics?

This is the question that most often I am asked, probably due to the fact that my popularity has increased. And I always say: we have this kind of thinking, polar. The oppositionists consider me to be pro-government, the authorities and special services consider me an oppositionist. Both sides speculate about me, draw conclusions and then create problems for me. Some – by the fact that they are watered, and others – by the fact that they periodically initiate criminal cases.

And my approach is: why don’t you allow civil society, the middle? A person with an active life position, who is rooting for the country, who is against the revolution, but also against stagnation. I want the country not to be stagnant, I want the country to develop. But I am against pogroms, revolutions and …

… shocks?

… aggression from Russia. I am an active citizen, I am not an oppositionist, I am not pro-government. But I’m not a silent person. I was an observer at the elections, I wanted to personally make sure there are falsifications or not, there is democracy or there is no democracy in this country. I drew conclusions for myself and immediately published it on Facebook. In those areas where I observed and where there were 20 of my trusted people, I can guarantee the result.

Will you ever go to the presidency of Kazakhstan?

Politics is not mine. I am an investor, traveler, public figure and enjoy doing what I am doing now. I want to have the luxury of freely expressing what I think, the luxury of not going against my conscience, of being in harmony with my morality, which meets my mission to live a happy life. And when a person goes into politics, you still have to maneuver there, you will have to underspeak somewhere. I am not saying “outright lie” – understatement. Somewhere – to make unpopular decisions. It means going to factories and factories, meeting people, delving into those problems that are not interesting to you, and also reporting. Well, what will it give me? All the more so if I do not plan to steal and use power in order to get rich. Then, for me, only responsibility and obligations are in power. For me, there are no buns in the power. Power will not improve my house, improve my car, improve my capabilities, but, on the contrary, reduce my freedom and impose a bunch of obligations.

By the way, do you have a big house?

Yes, now it’s big.

How many meters?

Since January this year – more than a thousand square meters. Until January, being a multi-billionaire, I lived in a house that is 300 m² together with a basement. My yacht was larger than my house.

Is the house in Almaty straight?

Yes. Before that, I lived for 20 years in the same house. Now I changed it.

What cars do you have?

Jeep Lexus.


My wife has a jeep, and I have a Lexus The rest are all hunting.

You just mentioned that you would not want Russian aggression for Kazakhstan …


That is, do you understand that there is a threat to Kazakhstan from Russia?

I understand that the CSTO exists, I understand that there is a bunch of presidents of our countries, where they agreed, most likely, in addition to the CSTO treaty, also conceptually help each other. And it directly states that in the event of a threat to the constitutional order, CSTO members have the right to introduce …

… is there an external threat spelled out?

The threat to the constitutional order, riots …

Like this?

Straight. I don’t see Russia as an enemy. This is a fraternal people. For us, Russia, the Ukrainians are all fraternal peoples. And when we look at the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, we are actually very unpleasant and insulting, it looks like your two brothers had a fight.

Do you understand what Russia has done in relation to Ukraine?

Of course. We understand perfectly. I personally don’t have double standards. This is Russia’s aggression.

President Tokayev was asked a question about Crimea – he said: “This is the territory of Russia.”

Well, you know, Tokayev works in the paradigm of the possible. He is a politician. Politics is the art of the possible. And I’m not a politician – I’m a private person.

And for you, Crimea is whose territory?

I think Crimea is the territory of Ukraine. There is Russian truth in the fact that historically Russia once had it. But it doesn’t matter what where who had it. For that matter, we Kazakhs can show a lot, and so can Russia.

To Orenburg, right?

Orenburg is ours. Tomsk is also ours. There, in the end, if you take the Türks, the Türkic Kaganate … Depends which section to take.

But you’re not going to pick up weapons, are you?

Definitely. We also have territorial issues with Uzbekistan, but we are not presenting … As cut, so cut. Guys, we need to do business with what we inherited.

So for you Crimea is the territory of Ukraine?

Naturally. It’s not even discussed.

You probably follow the events in Belarus that are taking place now.

Of course.

How do you think it will end?

I think, nevertheless, Lexander Lukashenko will have to leave. I see the horizon in six months. This situation of confrontation cannot last long. At the same time, Lukashenka no longer has a military option.


I think not, because every day he loses morally, loses in the eyes of the world community, and in the eyes of his neighbors, and in the eyes of even his fellow presidents. You can’t argue with objective reality. And all Putin’s trump cards, an external threat, will not work there. Are there anti-Russian sentiments? Yes, they are not!

Of course.

There really is a Belarusian people, and this is just the case when they show that you can do everything without leaders. You know the paradox. This world is arranged in this way: in general, the scenario that we do not expect always happens. If we take strong, domineering presidents – I won’t say “dictators” – Lukashenko is the strongest, the most powerful. Peremptory, unceremonious. An amorphous, soft power went against him, where his machine guns and clubs do not work. If an organized force headed by someone, armed, had gone against him, he would have smashed them to smithereens.

Interesting, right?

Their channel is called “NEXTA”.


This someone has risen – and it is impossible to fight with him. He refuses to work, he goes on strike, he sabotages, he withdraws deposits. What are you going to do with him?

When you got married, you were looking for labels. Is your wife still the same?



Well, I don’t see any correlation.

(They laugh.)

There is a good phrase: money does not spoil a person – money reveals his essence. If you are rotten in life, money just reveals your essence. And that’s all. If you are normal – what does the money and their amount have to do with it?

You have three daughters.


What are they doing? And what does the wife do?

The eldest daughter graduated from Almaty, then moved to London. Now she graduated from the University of Durham, Fluent in Italian, French, Spanish, English, Russian, Kazakh. Moreover, there are three languages – at the level these are English, French, Russian. She works in sits in London but covers France. Bloomberg: Earns well. The daughter I am proud of.

(Smiles.) Does she help her parents?

Well, we don’t want it. What for? On the contrary, we ourselves want to help her. And two, which are younger, are still in school. The spouse is, one might say, a housekeeper. But she is so active: she constantly reads something, develops. It is difficult to call her a housekeeper, but in fact it is, given that she does not work anywhere.


For several years you were the president of the Kazakhstan Chess Federation. Do you play chess?

Yes, of course I play chess. In general, it was considered a cult game in the village. In Soviet times – you know – it was part of the ideology.

Of course.

When I became president of the Chess Federation, I invited stars to my championship, such as Boris Spassky, Iktor Korchnoi, Natoly Karpov … By the way, Ivanchuk is Ukrainian …


Polgar. Of course it was great. I tried to make the maximum contribution to the development of chess.

Have you played with any of the world champions?

No, it’s impossible. I’m not a chess player of that level to play with them.

Well, sit down cleanly, move the figures …

Well, move, take pictures – of course. But we have established very good, human, friendly relations.

As far as I know, you are planning to restore the population of cheetahs in Kazakhstan.

Not just cheetahs. Since 2001, I have been actively involved in saiga conservation. This is a steppe antelope. In Soviet times, there were about 2.5 million, and then up to 15 thousand. went down.


That was the scale of the poaching.

And what happened?

The Chinese began to buy horns, poachers began to kill only males, and they quickly degenerated. Every year I donated 15–20 UAZ cars, kungas, satellite phones to Okhotzooprom, a government organization. There is a foundation – I supported them until 2006 or 2007, for about five or six years. Then their budget was increased 20 times – and they became independent. Well, not only independent, but they themselves started …

A question arose about cheetahs, because we used to have a cheetah on Ustyurt.

Do you like this animal, huh?

It’s just that there is a nice peninsula in the Aral Sea in the shape of an Italian boot. And I thought to cover it with a net and launch a gazelle, a cheetah, a Bukhara deer there. Because it is impossible without a predator, and to launch a wolf, well, it’s senseless. It is better to start the one who was before. This topic is still hanging, because legally there is a lot … I did this with the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.

Is the Aral Sea beautiful?

No Unfortunately. Dried up. But now the Kazakh sector is recovering. The sea is like the sea … In general, everything that is connected with the steppe seems beautiful to me. And since this sea is steppe, then, naturally, for me it is beautiful. But if you take it in general, probably not for everyone it will seem beautiful.

Has the coronavirus greatly affected the business and business climate in Kazakhstan?

Very much. For small and medium-sized businesses – disastrously. I expect that at least 40–45% of small and medium businesses will go bankrupt.


In general, the economic decline will be in the region of 10-15%. Kazakhstan unsuccessfully, I think, introduced quarantine, the first state of emergency. When there were still isolated cases in our country, a tough state of emergency was introduced. And then they sharply weakened – and we have a flash. And then – in general a disaster. After that the second quarantine was introduced. It finished the economic off. Therefore, it will not be easy. But small and medium-sized businesses, you know, are like grass.

Self-adjusting, yes.

She will begin to grow herself. You just have to create favorable conditions and demand all the time. I always tell the state: “Create demand. Then small and medium business will rise by itself. ” It is important to create effective demand, and for this it is necessary to provide assistance to the population and consumers. If small and medium-sized businesses settle down and the population settles as a consumer, then the economy will suffer. And if the population has money on hand, it will simply pour small and medium-sized businesses like water, and it will quickly flourish again.

Although you’ve already said to yourself “stop” in business, you still have a business brain and you are probably doing something.

I am an investor. And, as I said before, I treat this as a process of self-knowledge and, in general, knowledge of the world. I told the guys: “You must clearly understand the starting point.” My starting point … I don’t make money. Money is a by-product of my effective work. All I do is self-development. And self-development means working with yourself, with psychology, with your human qualities, with your mind, with your way of thinking. And when you straighten it all out, build it up, and in the end if you think that life is more than making money …

That is why I have a mission: to live a happy life. Well, you can just live a happy life, but I want – for the benefit of society and the environment. And all my meetings, projects and deeds are built for this. Every time I ask the question: “Will this meeting make me happier or not?” Will nature benefit or not? “If not, I discard it: it is not in line with my mission.

What advice would you give to people who have something to invest and who are watching you now? Where to invest?

The first is, of course, into oneself. The first is into yourself. The second point: you need to clearly understand the goals: for what? It’s not about making money, it’s not about the goal. And chances are you are wrong. In this regard, I always say to businessmen: “First find your ikigai (a Japanese term for a sense of your own purpose in life. – “GORDON”). What you love, what you do well, what society needs and what you get paid for. Once you find your ikigai, you will know the topic well. ” They ask me a counter question: “What ikigai do you have? You were involved in many businesses. ” I say, “My ikigai is investing. Because investing as a process is an independent activity. There are businesses, and there are also investors. “

What are you investing in?

I invest depending on the configuration of my portfolio. I invest in something that is anti-crisis, in something that grows during crises. It is called an anti-crisis portfolio.

For example?

Agriculture, food. Basic stuff. These are chicken meat, fruits, berries, soy, soybean meal, oil, and so on.

Next is education. Why? There is a pyramid that people refuse. In the last place, they refuse medical services. Before that is the education of children. And before that there are basic foods. Invest in this triangle.

And at the same time, always invest 20% of the funds in the sector. It’s like buying lottery tickets. I have a large portfolio in the sector. IT- Why? Because if you only invest in the underlying sectors, your return will be very low. The risk profile will be good, but the profitability will not be very good. If you build your portfolio only in the sector, then you will turn into a venture capitalist, put too much on the line and break the rule “always risk less for more.” That is, an option, optional thinking must be developed in oneself. I use the barbell principle that I saw with Nassim Taleb.

You are now talking about education. I met in different countries of the world, in the United States in particular, a lot of young Kazakhs who went to get education at the best universities. Are there many Kazakhs studying around the world now?

Lots of. There is a long-term program “Bolashak”. It has existed for over 20 years.

State, right?

Government program. I think this is one of Nazarbayev’s coolest initiatives. And it works. By my estimates, the program is probably one-fifth of those students who leave. Every person in Kazakhstan who has earned money first of all sends his child to study abroad. Such is the Kazakh quirk.

A good quirk, by the way.

Yes. Send, give the best education to the child. And the second, negative, quirk is to hold the most magnificent wedding.

(Smiles) Are weddings really magnificent?

Yes, it’s just a kapets! A celebration of vanity.

How many people are going to a wedding in Kazakhstan?

Depending on the wealth. From 500 to 1,000, up to 2,000

2 thous. even?

Yes. Easy.

Are the tables set? ..

Well, let’s say this: if you call 1 thousand. people, then have to set a table for 3 thousand. man. About one third of the dishes are eaten, no more.

But other?

Thrown out.

I would like to attend a Kazakh wedding, I can tell you!

Tables are bursting with food, there is nowhere to even put your phone. I’m exaggerating, but … Of course it’s fun. Of course, parents do not spare money. Unfortunately, the disadvantaged part of society looks at how wealthy people live – and they copy the outside, the gloss. They take loans, hold weddings.

Do they even take loans?

Yes, and that’s too bad. Homes are laid, but weddings are held. Because it is considered: not to hold a wedding is …

Are marriages falling apart?

I came up with the following pattern: the more magnificent the wedding, the faster the collapse.


That’s why it works this way.

Are there many rich Kazakhs?

Lot. There are few legal ones. There are a lot of illegal ones. I mean legal – not in the sense of violations of the law, but in the sense of openness of funds or openness of sources of income. Because there are a lot of corrupt officials. Corruption eats up a huge part of our GDP …

Kazakhstan is the richest country. All minerals, probably, are there?

We produce almost 90 million tons of oil. We extract more than the Emirates.

What are you doing?!

The Emirates are generally mining a penny compared to us. We are extracting so many resources …

So you should be richer than the Emirates.

Yes, at times! Therefore, when they talk about the success of our economy, I say: “Guys, you immediately take the graph of oil price growth and the graph of oil production.” Over the years, in addition to the rise in oil prices, volumes have also grown. We started, in my opinion, with 15 million tons. Now it’s 90.

What is the future of Kazakhstan, in your opinion?

It is impossible to predict the future, in principle. It will always come in an unexpected form. I can only be responsible for my activities to shape this future. Therefore, I am in every possible way active, I lead an active lifestyle, I propagandize, I am engaged in education, everywhere I convey the idea of what is good, what is bad, in my understanding, of course.

I think the chances for a good future for Kazakhstan depend on each of us. From how we will link our future with the future of Kazakhstan. Unfortunately, many Kazakhs leave because they do not want to associate their future with Kazakhstan. I say: “And to whom are you leaving?”

So I have the opportunity to live in America, my qualifications allow me, I have partners there, they call me, I even have a company there with the Americans. I can get a green card right now. But I love Kazakhstan very much. I love nature especially. And I asked myself the question: why did Allah do this? I understand: he threw me, as a paratrooper, into this territory and said: “Margulan, in short, your task is here to help in every way, to restore order, to build factories and factories. In short, I give you skills to work on this territory. ” And so I came up with a technical task for myself and I am doing it. Of course, to feed myself, I could go to America, but it would be a new spiral of when I graze my food. Why would I graze my food? I’m chasing happiness, not food.

The second country after Kazakhstan, where would you live, is America for you?

No. Not America. The second country is probably Canada.

Quiet and peaceful.

Large territory, beautiful nature, few people.

“I’m chasing happiness, not food” is a good formula, I really liked it. Tell me: are you a happy person, right now, at this moment?

Definitely. Why? Because happiness is not a goal. Happiness is an inner state.

Of course.

And this state is always with me. Whatever happens outside. I came down to this earth as a researcher, and everything is interesting to me, everything is curious to me. Everything is for the first time to me. And I write down the rules: this world works like this, it works like this … I even have this attitude to religion. Here I am in Islam. Why did I accept religion? I deliberately accepted. Because I believe that there is a creator of the world, and he gave me the Koran in the form of instructions on how to use his invention. Well, it would be stupid to come into this world and not take the technical documentation from the designer.


So I take the technical documentation and use religion. Islam says, “I gave you this religion to make your life easier, don’t complicate it.” That is, the Koran is needed not by Allah, but by people. Allah does not need religion – people need religion. And for what? In order to make their life easier.

Margulan, I am very grateful to you for the interview. I got a huge, simply indescribable pleasure from communicating with a bright and intelligent person.

Thank you.

And systemic, which is very important. You know, the audience of my channels is different in age, but a lot of young people from 14 years old watch interviews with various outstanding people and are looking for a recipe for happiness, promotion in business, in life, and so on. Right now, thousands, tens, hundreds of thousands of energetic young people are watching us. What advice would you give them?

I would give advice like this: realize your importance, realize that you mean a lot to this world. The problem with most people is that they have low self-esteem. A person with low self-esteem will never achieve anything. A person with high self-esteem cannot be stopped. Because such a person always sets himself high goals. High self-esteem prevents him from not achieving these goals. A person with high self-esteem never needs motivation.

In order to keep your self-esteem high, imagine that you are a landing party, you are an astronaut, you are an alien who was sent to this world in order for you to study its structure. Imagine this is such a game. They studied the structure of this world – and succeeded. You are a scout in this world. When you do this, you approach everything like a scientist. How are young people? In order to achieve the goal, you need, say, 10 attempts. Only one of them will be successful. They light up, make one attempt – it didn’t work, the second attempt – it didn’t work, the third attempt – it didn’t work, the fourth – didn’t work, the fifth … And he thinks: “Come on … Loser.” What does a scientist do? He knows it takes an average of 10 tries to be successful. Time! He thinks, “Oops, I’ve got nine tries left.” On the eighth unsuccessful attempt, he, like a hound dog that smelled game, understands: success is close. And he redoubles his efforts instead of being disappointed.

According to Pareto’s law, the last 20% of the effort brings 80% of the result. So, just the same all efforts must be redoubled at the end of the path. Every failure should motivate you and encourage you to redouble your efforts. And this is possible only if you feel like an explorer of this world and understand that money is a by-product of your effective activity. Study yourself, develop yourself, study efficiency. All this will come. Start with yourself. The first is awareness. As I once, when grazing the sheep, woke up, in the literal sense of the word, and decided that I did not come into this world to graze my food. And through this I felt the mission: I am not here to graze food.

What happiness it is when you can learn from a person who has achieved such success, something that cannot be read in any book. Happiness is when you meet such a person and hear completely simple advice based on his experience. I am very grateful to you!

I am grateful to you too!

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