Kusto Group’s Daniel Kunin on accelerating growth through strategic partnerships

Daniel Kunin

Daniel Kunin, a Managing Director of Kusto Group, describes the company’s ability to forge lasting partnerships with leading international firms to share expertise, technology and experience to accelerate growth and foster sustainable, long-term progress.

Kusto Group’s Daniel Kunin (second from the right) and Yerkin Tatishev (second from the left) on a visit to a livestock operation in the United States.

Kusto Group has engaged in a strategy of developing partnerships with leading international business and manufacturing firms as a way to introduce new technologies and industry best practices to their own operations and as a way to elevate the standards of the wider markets in which they operate. “In our partnerships, the operating principle is to treat a partner as if they were a team-member of Kusto,” says Daniel Kunin, a Managing Director of Kusto Group. “This ethic pays huge dividends in the medium to long term.”

Collaboration is at the core of Kusto Group’s vision. Kusto Group seeks to merge the technologies and innovative methodologies of its partners with the company’s experience as an international business operating across a broad range of sectors and its comprehensive understanding of the local markets. The company’s approach emphasizes enhancing efficiency and creating stable, sustainable growth that impacts all stakeholders.

Built by a group of young, ambitious, reform-minded entrepreneurs led by entrepreneur Yerkin Tatishev, Kusto Group has developed an integrated, comprehensive approach to its numerous business holdings. From its headquarters in Singapore, the company has a global reach with operations across 10 countries in the oil and gas industry, agriculture, construction and construction materials, and real estate.

Kusto Group’s leaders acquired indispensable business competencies revitalizing a mining operation in Kazakhstan, successfully turning the Soviet-style enterprise into a profitable modern venture. The company has accomplished its success by identifying opportunities for growth in emerging markets around the world.

Kusto Group’s efforts to transform agriculture in Kazakhstan

Kusto Group has contributed to efforts to develop an agricultural ecosystem in Kazakhstan that supports an integrated protein strategy. These efforts mirror a wider initiative of the Government of Kazakhstan to modernize the agricultural sector with an emphasis on expanding the livestock and multi-protein export industry.

“The upcoming emphasis on building a sustainable protein export business and modern agricultural sector in Kazakhstan is a fascinating, supremely complex and interesting project,” explains Kunin. “By definition, it requires long-term thinking, strategic planning, intensive stakeholder mapping and understanding, and the creation of a network of inter-linked partnerships that are both joint ventures but also intensive public-private partnerships.”

Taking into consideration Kazakhstan’s geostrategic location, abundant wide-open spaces and fertile soil, and rich heritage of agricultural cultivation, the country has substantial agricultural potential.

The American model of development has provided Kusto Group with a primer for success. The company has modeled its growth strategy for Kazakhstan on this model of agribusiness– attempting to duplicate the successes achieved and avoid the mistakes.

Kusto Group inks partnerships with American agribusiness firms

The company has played a pivotal role in helping to bring American expertise and advanced technology to Kazakhstan through a series of recent partnerships.

Valmont Industries, a Nebraska-based leader in the production of precision irrigation equipment and agricultural infrastructure, will partner with Kusto Group to build a manufacturing plant for high-tech soil irrigation systems in Kazakhstan. The project is backed by a $50 million investment. Kazakhstan’s agricultural industry currently lacks modern infrastructure and this deal is anticipated to have a transformative effect on crop yield volumes, water savings and land impact.

“They [modern irrigation systems] can increase crop yields many times over, while also reducing water usage, helping reduce environmental impact,” says Yerkin Tatishev, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Kusto Group. “The efficiency savings across all kinds of crops, from rice to corn to cotton, are truly remarkable. For Kazakhstan’s agricultural sector to compete on a global market, it must implement modern irrigation methods – this new project will make it possible.”

Kusto Group recently signed a landmark deal with Tyson Fresh Meats, a division of US-based Tyson Foods, and the Government of Kazakhstan to build a new meat processing facility in Kazakhstan. The cooperative partnership is projected to have an annual economic benefit in excess of one billion dollars (USD). Tyson Foods is a leader in protein production and will provide valuable expertise and insights to improve efficiency and increase processing capacities.

In addition to the agricultural industry, Kusto Group’s KazPetrol Group has found success in Kazakhstan’s oil and gas industry. Partnering with industry leaders in mining extraction techniques to maximize efficiency and minimize environmental impact. As part of the company’s integrated approach to business, KazPetrol launched Compass, a fuel station startup that offers customers a convenient retail experience and high-quality fuel source.

Kusto Group in the construction industry

Daniel Kunin, a Managing Director of Kusto Group, with Nir Darnov, Director at Tambour
Daniel Kunin, a Managing Director of Kusto Group, with Nir Darnov, Director at Tambour

Beyond their investment in the agricultural and oil and gas sectors in Kazakhstan, Kusto Groups is the lead investor in Coteccons, a construction company that has become a market leader in Vietnam. The company doubled its revenues between 2012 and 2015 and is listed on the Ho Chi Minh stock exchange. Coteccons is expected to capture 10% of the country’s residential and industrial construction market by the end of the year.

Kusto Group has also supported Vietnam’s nationwide real estate boom through supplying the industry with construction materials and with Diamond Island, the company’s luxury waterfront real estate development project.

In 2014, Kusto Group acquired the Israeli paint giant Tambour. This investment in an established company with a rich heritage was a first for the company. Tambour has developed environmentally-friendly paints with low solvent content.

Kusto Group’s management of Tambour has led to an expansion of research and development and diversified its product offerings. In addition to paint, the company produces concrete products in collaboration with BASF – the largest chemical company in the world.

In Tambour, Kusto identified an opportunity to transform the nationally recognized company into a regional and global leader in paint. Tambour has expanded in the last year through the buyout of the domestic Geves Gesher Ltd. and the acquisition of the Italian Colorficio Zetagi company.

Embracing innovation and driving growth

“Kusto has always looked to move forward by embracing innovation and new technology,” says Yerkin Tatishev. “But I also believe it’s equally important to seize opportunities for collaboration whenever they arise. When business leaders share the same goals and actions, great things can happen.”

Through these partnerships, Kusto Group aims to establish itself as an international leader in the global marketplace and make lasting contributions to the economies within which it operates.