Igor Makarov (Игорь Макаров) is not only one of Russia’s richest, with a net fortune of around $2 billion. He was also the founder and owner of Russia’s first independent gas company, ITERA, and is a keen sportsman and cyclist — having competed internationally for over ten years as part of the national cycling team in the USSR. Makarov resides in Moscow with his wife and two children.
Education and Early Career
Igor Makarov was born in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in 1962. An exceptional student, he graduated from Turkmen State University with a Bachelor of Arts and Science in 1983. He served in the army for three years before taking up the position of professor at the Kazan State University. He then started working in the private sector, where his meteoric rise to the top of his profession led to the founding of his first company, ITERA, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the new era of perestroika.
ITERA– First Private Gas Company in Russia
Making waves as the first private company to compete in the gas market in Russia, Igor Makarov’s ITERA was an immediate success. Founded in 1992, the business started trading in gas as soon as 1998 had commenced, with a natural gas production facility in the Yamalo-Nenuts region of northern Russia. ITERA was the largest gas exporter in Turkmenistan and began making strategic purchases of large gas fields from previously state-owned Gazprom.
During the early years of the new millennium, ITERA worked to develop gas fields across the region, and by 2012 was a global player with offices across Europe and the United States. It was in 2012, on the company’s 20th anniversary, that it announced a joint venture with Rosneft, and in 2013, ITERA became a 1005 owned subsidiary of Rosneft. Igor Makarov remained on the Board of Directors of OJSC Rosneftegaz, and of OJSC Transneft as well as Chairman of the ITERA Oil and Gas Company Board of Directors, until 2013.
Igor Makarov – Champion Cyclist and International Sports Advocate
Although Makarov guards his privacy, he is eloquent and outspoken in the media as a former champion cyclist for his country’s national team, and has served on a number of committees and councils across Europe to further the sport and to raise its profile. In 2008, he was appointed as Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Cycling Federation (RCF), a position he currently holds, and in 2011 was chosen by the European Cycling Union as a representative of the International Cycling Union (UCI).
Makarov formed a professional cycling team in 2008, which was the only Russian team licensed for the Pro-Tour which includes Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France. He is passionate about the sport and has sponsored a number of Russian teams including his own, ‘Katusha’, ‘Rus’, and ‘Russian Helicopters’.
Makarov is also a part owner in Russian hockey team, ‘Dynamo Riga’.
Makarov is as generous with his time as he is with his massive fortune. He spends a great deal of time on charity work, and is actively involved with many causes both in Russia, and abroad. He was part of the international charity to save the dwindling population of Siberian white cranes, ‘Flight of Hope’.