Baturina is a Moscow native who began working as a design-technician at the Fraser plant (where her parents worked) after graduating from high school. She later got a degree, graduating from the Moscow-based S. Ordzhonikidze State University of Management in 1986.
Baturina met her Future husband, Yury Luzhkov, in 1987 when they were both serving at Mosgorispolkom, a Soviet-era municipal commission. At the period of their co-working the relationships were purely professional. In one of her interviews Baturina remembers: “We never even thought about anything like that when we were working together, it all happened much later”. Baturina and Luzhkov married in 1991. The next year he became mayor of Moscow. In 2010 he was dismissed by President Dmitry Medvedev amidst still unproven accusations of corruption and mismanagement voiced on state run television. Yury himself had at one time been tipped to run for President, though he never did.
In 1989 Baturina launched her first enterprise with her elder brother Victor, primarily dealing with software and hardware for computers. In 1991 Baturina founded her company, Inteco ("Inteko" (Интеко) in Russian), which focuses on construction though it began as a plastics Business. In 1994 Inteco purchased a plastic factory. In 1998 the company won the contract for producing 85,000 seats for Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow's largest stadium. The critics claimed that the decision was affected by Luzhkov as Mayor of Moscow, though Inteco stated that their price was 50% less than their nearest competitor’s.
In 1991 Baturina married Yury Luzhkov. In 1992 their older daughter, Yelena, was born, followed in 1994 by the younger, Olga. In November 2010 Luzhkov gave an interview to the Telegraph newspaper stating that the couple were sending their daughters to study in London to protect them from possible persecution by the Russian authorities. Today both daughters of Baturina and Luzhkov live in London and are studying Politics and Economy at University College. In her interviews Baturina often says that she and Luzhkov are very lucky, as they still love each other. She enjoys cooking his favourite dish, borscht, and claims that a traditional "Soviet upbringing" made a good housewife of her.
Her husband, Yury Luzhkov, was mayor of Moscow from 1992 to 2010.
From 1999 to 2005, Baturina served as President of the Equestrian Federation of Russia. During this period, the Federation began arranging international competitions for young sportsmen, formed teams of riders of respective age categories that were qualified for participation in the European championships. In Moscow the Federation held multiple competitions, including the Moscow Mayor Cup, one of the stages of the World Cup.
At one point Inteco was said to control 20% of construction in the capital. However, according to experts, quoted by media, from 2000 to 2010 of construction activities Inteco's share in the state order was no more than 2%. While the main contractors for the implementation of the Moscow government orders were construction companies MFS-6 (24.5%) Glavmosstroy (20.7%), SU-155 (13.7%) and MSM-5 (12.2%).In 2002 Inteco created a subsidiary "Strategy Construction Company", whose main objective was the construction of monolithic buildings. Such cement plants as "Podgorensky cementnik" and "Oskolcement", one of the largest cement producers in the central Russia, were also bought at that time.
In 2001 Inteco acquired from a private person the controlling stake in one of the leading house-building factories in Moscow DSK-3. Following modernization the construction plant provided 500,000 square meters of housing per year. This acquisition, according to Baturina’s interviews, became the starting point for the company’s major construction activity. “DSK-3 is my first real step into construction. I had been viewing the market for a long time. I saw how quickly and dynamically it was developing, how many opportunities it was offering. Still the deal took place sort of accidentally. The lawyers of the former main owner’s widow came to me and said that some unfriendly entities were questioning her property rights and trying to simply rob her of her stake. And the frightened woman had decided to sell all the shares to Inteco on the condition that we defend her rights in court. We have successfully managed that and just like that, almost by accident, became the owners of the plant."
In 2002 Inteco created a subsidiary "Strategy Construction Company", whose main objective was the construction of monolithic buildings. Such cement plants as "Podgorensky cementnik" and "Oskolcement", one of the largest cement producers in the central Russia, were also bought at that time.
Baturina won the State Prize of the Russian Federation for Science and Technology in 2003. Inteco and its projects have won numerous awards and competitions, including: the "Russian Building Olympus" prize for "Architecture and Design Planning" (2008); "Brand of the Year/EFFIE 2007"; national prize for "Construction and Real Estate" (2008); International Star of Leadership award for quality at the 13th Business Initiative Directions (BID) international convention (Paris, 2009), a Vanity award; "Company of the Year" national prize for Business for "The Best Investment and Construction Company in Russia in 2009" (2009); International Award for Technology & Quality (Madrid, 2010); International Construction Award (France, 2011).
On 13 October 2005, Inteco Lawyer Dmitry Steinberg was shot at the entrance to his house. Baturina attended his funeral.
In 2006, Baturina assumed position of Deputy Head for the inter-ministerial group under the national project "Affordable and Comfortable Housing for Russian citizens." Baturina was the only representative of the construction industry in the group. In connection to the project Inteco formed a special commission that was inspecting various regions in Russia in order to evaluate the state of the local construction enterprises, to determine the demand for construction materials and to collect demographic and sociological data. As a result, the commission developed the concept of the federal target program "Development of the construction industry". Later on, the Government of the Russian Federation based its "Strategy of development of building materials industry up to 2020” on that program.
Baturina has an older brother, Viktor Baturin, who is also a businessman. In 2007 Viktor Baturin tried to sue his sister's company Inteco for US$120 million for wrongful dismissal, but lost the case. Baturina has had no contacts with his brother since a public conflict on Business issues that occurred in 2007 and resulted in mutual lawsuits, that later were settled.
The first "Russian Season" organized by Baturina took place in Kitzbühel, Austria in 2008 - that was a celebration of Russian Orthodox Christmas with classical Russian Musicians and Russian folklore ensembles. The following “Russian Seasons" were held not only in Austria but in several other European countries.
The first development in the hotel chain, located in the heart of the Eichenheim golf club in Kitzbühel, Austria. Its construction was completed in 2009. The hotel has 82 rooms of 9 categories, a spa with an outdoor pool, meeting rooms and conferences halls. In 2015, Grand Tirolia was named the best golf hotel in Austria, Golf Club Eichenheim - the best golf course in Austria. World Golf Awards" was awarded to it in 2014 and 2015. The hotel currently employs over 90 people.
In 2010, Baturina became one of the first Business Leaders to provide support to the victims of fires in the Tula region. Among other projects, Inteco also fully sponsored a construction of a nursery school. In addition, Baturina addressed the Leaders of other construction companies in Russia and urged them to follow the Example.
She claims to own one of the largest private collections of Russian Imperial porcelain, preferring the porcelain of the era of Nicholay I. In April 2011, Yelena Baturina donated about 40 pieces of art — a part of her collection of rare porcelain — to the "Tsaritsyno" museum in Moscow.
In the recent years, Baturina has been realizing most of her philanthropic initiatives through the BE OPEN Foundation she set up in 2012. It is a cultural and social initiative which aims to become a bridge between the great minds of our time – Philosophers, Sociologists, designers, Architects, artists, publishers, Writers, businessmen and opinion Leaders – and the promising new minds of the next generation through a system of conferences, competitions, exhibitions, master classes and art events.
Afterwards a few British journalists pointed out that if you discount the number of women who made the list due to "family wealth" (which they may have contributed towards to a greater or lesser degree), inheritance or divorce — the first self-made female richlister is Baturina. "Money is like cement in construction. Money is not a goal but a means to reach the goal, the opportunity to do the things you want to do. The more money I have, the more large scale tasks I can solve. But I think you will agree that not everyone who owns a lot of money ever sets himself any tasks".
In 2015 due to her public activity Baturina was selected an international ambassador for the WE-Women social initiative set up during the World EXPO in Milan. As an ambassador Baturina spoke of the need of state and public support for women balancing family and professional responsibilities.
In November 2016 Baturina’s structures launched a construction and development project in Europe. Her company acquired a land plot on the coastline in a primary area of Limassol, Cyprus, intended for constructing high-end residential properties. The overall investment into the project will amount to EUR 40 million, and the completion of the construction is planned for 2019.
Baturina enjoys horseriding, and has invested significant money into Equestrian sport in Russia. She owns the "Veedern" horse breeding estate founded in the 18th century. After a major reconstruction the estate is now successfully breeding Hanoverian and Trakehner horses. Baturina has said: "You should put a man on a horse to see how he will behave in a team: will he become a leader or not, will he be a dictator or is he ready to compromise. Generally it is easier for men to handle horses. They have a strong hand and they can easily stop the animal. For Example, Luzhkov can handle any horse".
Mrs Baturina is a member of Maggie’s London Board which is responsible for the coordination of all Maggie’s fundraising activity in London. Maggie’s Centres provides emotional and practical support to anyone with cancer and their family and friends through 18 Centres throughout the UK.