The story of the Gurkha Cigar Company plays out like a Hollywood love story, one of love at first sight, and it takes place in an Indian Market back in 1989.
Kaizad Hansotia, a man raised in Hong-Kong and London as a child, was on vacation in his ancestral homeland of India. Wandering through the marketplace he stumbled upon a Portuguese cigar artisan rolling cigars in his humble stall. Captivated by the skill and finesse of this artisan, Kaizad purchased his entire inventory of cigars to use as gifts for the clients of his family’s luxury watch company.
One of the first boxes of cigars that Kaizad gave out, was to a friend of the family that owned a Duty-Free shop. The cigars sold out so quickly, that Kaizad was quickly over inundated with demand for more cigars, he quickly realized that he had stumbled upon a goldmine, and began to lay the groundwork for a proper cigar production and distribution company.
The cigars that Kaizad had initially purchased were branded as “Gurkhas “, named so for the fearsome Nepalese Gurkha warriors that were so respected by the British army back in 1887, that the soldiers began to refer to their homemade cigars as “Gurkhas” out of reverence for this fearsome warrior stock. This was during the time of the “Great British Empire” that spanned most of the globe, and everywhere that the British army spread, they carried the affectionate Gurkha name with them, until the term became synonymous with the tobacco treat.
India, being the crown jewel of the British conquest, was no different than the rest of the English colonies in this respect, and the term Gurkha traveled from Nepal to India. Kaizad decided to keep the name to honor the Nepalese warriors and their historical contributions to Great Britain. In fact, he decided to adopt the image of a Gurkha warrior holding their legendary Khukuri sword as the official logo for his new company.
GROWING THE GURKHA BRAND
Not having a tobacco farm or factory to call his own, Kaizad met with Charlie Torano and partnered with the Torano company to create the first proper cigar release. Met with critical acclaim, the release drove Kaizad further into the world of Premium, igniting his passion into a raging fire.
Kaizad became obsessed with creating the perfect cigar, launching him into the world of super-premium cigars. In fact, his cigars became so “super-premium”, that he would go on to create the most expensive cigar ever created, His Majesty’s Reserve Cigar. But this wasn’t enough for Kaizad, he wanted to create a spectacular cigar that the average cigar smoker could afford and enjoy.
The first person he talked to was Charlie Torano (perhaps you’ve heard of him?) and Torano cigars agreed to roll Gurkha’s first ever cigars. After this momentous occasion in the history of Gurkha cigars, a brand was born so wonderful that it even made its way to the White House in the 1990s, which will forever be part of Oral Oval Office history.
With a new mission in mind, a bevy of savvy tobacconists to partner with, and his savvy marketing in hand, Kaizad went on to become one of the biggest names in premium cigars, a name that would find its way into the headlines!
It was during the Clinton administration, when the Lewinsky scandal broke, that sources reported a Gurkha cigar being the one used in the Oval Office scandal. However, Gurkha, and other cigar manufacturers, made it clear that they did not want to be associated with the scandal, and managed to quash the hype, removing their names from the headlines. But one thing is clear, President Clinton is just one of many world leaders that have preferred the Gurkha premium cigar.
Since the very beginning, Kaizad has followed a formula to create his cigars; use only the rarest and finest aged tobacco leaves, source them from around the world, take time to perfect each blend, and ensure that they present with a multitude of luxurious and unique flavors. Of course, Kaizad’s background in marketing has led them to create artistic packaging, and themes that affect every aspect of the cigar and the way they are presented..
Known as the ‘Rolls Royce’ of cigars, Gurkha cigars have become a leader in the world of premium cigars.