Russian Oligarchs

Samvel Karapetyan: Russian Billionaire and Tashir Group Owner

Early Life and Education

Samvel Karapetyan was born on August 18, 1965, in the town of Kalinino, which is now known as Tashir in the Lori province of the Armenian SSR. His family had a background in education, with his father serving as a school principal and mathematics specialist, while his mother worked as an English teacher. In 1986, Karapetyan graduated from the Yerevan Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He furthered his academic pursuits and, in 2008, earned a doctoral degree by defending a dissertation on the development of investment control systems at large enterprises.

Entry into Business

Karapetyan’s entrepreneurial journey began in 1986 when he took charge of the Kalinin plant, initially managing the technological service and later becoming the director. In 1989, he acquired the plant, transforming it into a personal diversified cooperative named Zenith, focusing on the production of metal and rubber products. His influence in the city grew, leading to the renaming of Kalinino to Tashir in 1991.

Relocation to Russia

Development of Tashir Group
Development of Tashir Group

In 1992, Samvel Karapetyan made a significant move to Russia. Five years later, he acquired Kalugaglavsnab and, in 1999, founded the Tashir Group of companies using this enterprise as a foundation. Tashir Group rapidly expanded its reach, encompassing construction, energy, production assets, marketing and supply organizations, hotels, shopping centres, cinemas, residential buildings, and more. The conglomerate boasts over 200 companies spanning various sectors of the Russian economy.

Tashir Group of Companies: Details and background

Tashir Group
Tashir Group

Tashir Group of Companies is a large, diversified federal group of industrial and construction companies that operates within nearly a dozen economic sectors of Russia. Samvel Karapetyan, a Russian businessman of Armenian origin, founded it in 1999.

The group includes over 200 dynamically growing organizations operating in various sectors of the economy, such as development, finance, production, construction, energy, retail, entertainment, and restaurants.

Tashir owns the Electrical Networks of Armenia, the country’s power distribution company. In 2022, its net profit amounted to nearly a million. Forbes has included Tashir Group in its 2021 Russia’s 200 Largest Private Companies list as No. 53. In 2023, Tashir Group was ranked second in Forbes’ ranking of the Kings of Russian Real Estate.

Philanthropy and Real Estate Ventures

In 2000, Karapetyan established the charitable foundation “Tashir” and, three years later, began actively participating in the Moscow real estate market. He purchased land and, in 2005, completed the construction of the “RIO” shopping and entertainment centre.

Family and Personal Life

Personal Life
Personal Life

Samvel Karapetyan is a family man, married with three children. His younger brother, Karen Karapetyan, is a prominent Armenian statesman. His son Sarkis and daughter Tatevik are actively involved in managing Tashir’s operations, with Tatevik overseeing the development of the cinema chain.

Financial Success and Recognition

Samvel with his family
Samvel with his family

Karapetyan’s wealth and success gained international recognition. In 2006, he first appeared in Forbes magazine, ranking among the largest owners of real estate. Over the years, his fortune grew significantly, reaching $3.1 billion by 2015. Karapetyan consistently secured positions in Forbes’ rankings of Russian billionaires.

Expanding Influence in Armenia

Influence in Armenia
Influence in Armenia

Samvel Karapetyan is an Armenian-born Russian billionaire who has built a business empire in Russia and is increasingly investing in Armenia.

In January 2018, the US Treasury Department named Karapetyan on the Putin list, which consists of 114 senior political figures and 96 oligarchs close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Karapetyan has business interests in Russia and has partnered with Russian companies.

Karapetyan has strong ties to Armenia’s Prime Minister, Karen Karapetyan (no relation), who took office in September 2016 and has a reputation as a technocratic reformist.

The prime minister’s early success has potentially placed him in competition with President Serzh Sargsyan, and Samvel Karapetyan‘s growing economic influence in Armenia has boosted Karen’s chances of retaining power.

In 2023, Karapetyan commented on the Armenia-Russia alliance, stating that it was unacceptable to put at risk the centuries-old friendly relations between Russia and Armenia and the partnership relations between the peoples of the two countries.

He emphasized that Russia is a leading foreign economic and trade partner, a guarantor of Armenia’s security on its borders and that friendly relations between the countries are the backbone of the stability of bilateral relations.

Samvel Karapetyan Net Worth

With a net worth estimated at $5 billion according to Forbes in September 2021, Samvel Karapetyan has consistently been among the wealthiest individuals globally. In March 2013, he became the richest ethnic Armenian, surpassing Kirk Kerkorian.

YearNet Worth (in billions)
20144.3 Billion
20154 Billion
20163.1 Billion
20173.4 Billion
20183.7 Billion
20193.7 Billion
20202.5 Billion
20213.3 Billion
20221.1 Billion
20232.7 Billion

Tashir Group and Diversified Ventures

Under Samvel’s leadership, Tashir Group emerged as a powerhouse with more than 45,000 employees and investments in various industries, including construction, retail, finance, power, and development. Real estate holdings, including over 30 shopping centres branded RioMall, underlined his dominance in the commercial real estate sector.

Investments in Armenia and Philanthropy

Karapetyan has not forgotten his roots, making substantial investments in Armenia through the Tashir Group. The conglomerate owns significant assets in Armenia, including shopping complexes and a major electricity company. Karapetyan has also been involved in philanthropy in Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh, financing projects such as a new hospital in Stepanakert.

One notable program provides $4,000 to families with four or more children in Artsakh, contributing to the growth of births and the area’s development.

Additionally, the foundation has been involved in other projects focussing on the well-being of families and the overall community.

Recognition and Awards

Contributions made by Samvel Karapetyan led to him being awarded the Mesrop Mashtot Medal by the Armenian president in 2011. He was also honoured as:

‘Personality of the Year’ in the ‘Russian Country of Honour’ program in 2012.


Alleged Ties to Putin and International Recognition

In January 2018, Karapetyan was named on the Putin list by the US Treasury Department, alongside other senior political figures and oligarchs associated with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In summary, Samvel Karapetyan‘s journey from a Mechanical Engineering graduate to a billionaire businessman reflects not only his business acumen but also his commitment to philanthropy and contributions to the development of Armenia and Russia.

Legal Troubles

Samvel Karapetyan, a notable Armenian businessman, has faced various legal issues. In 2022, he was briefly detained in connection with a shooting at Renaissance Square but was released after agreeing not to leave. In 2021, he was prosecuted for smuggling arms into Karabakh.

In 2019, he declined to testify in his nephew’s case and was embroiled in a dispute where he made threats of violence and demanded money. Additionally, in the same year, a person with the same name as him was arrested as a suspect in a murder case. Furthermore, criminal charges were filed against his nephew in 2019.


Samvel Karapetyan, born in 1965 in the Armenian SSR, is a Russian-Armenian billionaire known for his diverse business ventures. Graduating in Mechanical Engineering in 1986, he ventured into entrepreneurship by acquiring and transforming a plant in 1989. Karapetyan relocated to Russia in 1992, founding the Tashir Group in 1999, which now spans over 200 companies in sectors like construction, energy, and real estate. With a net worth of $5 billion in 2021, he consistently ranks among the world’s wealthiest.

Karapetyan maintains strong ties with Armenia, investing in its economy and engaging in philanthropy, including funding a hospital in Artsakh. However, his inclusion in the US Treasury’s Putin list in 2018 raised controversy. Legal issues, such as brief detention in 2022 and arms smuggling charges in 2021, have marked his recent years, contrasting with his philanthropic efforts and business success.

Alexander Harris

Alexander Harris - The Digital Bloodhound Alexander isn't your typical investigative journalist. He thrives in the digital world, scouring the web for hidden connections and leaked documents. An expert data analyst and coder, he builds intricate digital trails to expose fraud, cybercrime, and government overreach. Alexander Harris began his career as a journalist. He is one of the founders of the " Russian Oligarchs Tracker Unit ".

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button