Born in the town of Menzelinsk in Tatarstan on March 17, 1962, Tariko moved to Moscow to study at the age of 17. He graduated in 1989 from the Economics faculty of Moscow Institute for Railway Engineering and got an MBA from INSEAD in France in 2000.
In the late 1980s, Tariko began importing Kinder Surprise and Ferrero Rocher chocolates to the Soviet Union and selling them for rubles. Previously, such goods were only available in hard currency stores closed to average Russians. Tariko parlayed his success in selling Italian chocolates into an exclusive contract to import the Martini brand. Record sales of Martini enabled him to grow his company Roust Inc. into the leading importer of premium spirits in Russia.
Building on his success, Tariko wanted to build a Russian consumer brand which would "embody the vibrant spirit of Russia." Tariko reportedly wondered why Russia, the birthplace of vodka and the biggest vodka market in the world did not possess a domestically produced premium vodka brand. In 1998, Tariko, through his Russian Standard Company, brought to market Russian Standard Vodka Original, the first genuinely Russian premium vodka. It became an almost instant success, and quickly established itself as the number one brand of its kind in the country.
In Forbes magazine's "World's richest People" ranking of 2009, Tariko was listed at number 647 with an estimated wealth of $1.1 billion.
Roustam Tariko is unmarried and has three children. The mother of Tariko’s twin daughters, Eva and Anna, is Tatiana Osipova who is not married to Tariko. Another woman, Aliona Gavrilova, is the mother of Tariko’s third child, a boy, named Roustam Junior.