N America News April 2017

26 NORTH AMERICA NEWS / APRIL 2017 , Kaizad Hansotia tells us more about the cigar industry, and his iconic Gurkha brand, indeed the Gurkha Cigars produces 12million cigars per year that are sold inmore than 70 countries worldwide. True Craftmanship Gurkha Cigars is known throughout the world for its premium and luxurious cigars, so it’s no surprise that they are the most sought-after cigars around the globe. Gurkha produces 12 million cigars per year that are sold in more than 70 countries worldwide, and while Gurkha is known for its exclusivity, it has an impressive array of 105 brands of flawlessly handcrafted, premium cigars created in a variety of strengths, tasting profiles, and price-points. Kaizad Hansotia, the founder and CEO of Gurkha Cigars, was born in Bombay, India in November 1967. As a result of his extensive traveling, Kaizad inadvertently came face to face with his future. In 1989 while on vacation in India, Kaizad walked into a cigar store and met a Portuguese man who was rolling and selling cigars. He was so enthralled with the man’s craftsmanship and enjoyed the cigars so much that he bought the man’s entire stock for $149 with the idea that he would give his watch customers a complimentary cigar as a gift with their purchase. When they returned asking for more cigars, he realized he was onto something. He went back to the cigar store only to find that he had bought the man’s entire inventory and therefore the brand. He came back to the states and partnered with the highly respected Torano Cuban cigar family to learn about the cigar industry and expand the Gurkha Cigar brand. “I think the most important thing I have learned from the challenges in my career is that you have to be innovative and continue to push the envelope,” Kaizad explains. “Customers demand more and you have to give them more and they are thankful for it. The Gurkha Nation is strong and loyal. The name “Gurkha” comes from the courageous Nepalese warriors who fought alongside the British, during England’s reign of supreme power in the last 1800s. Kaizad kept the name in honor of these brave soldiers when he purchased the company. “Gurkha soldiers came from tight knit communities and were unforgiving in battle,” Kaizad states. “You can see the same spirit in our staff. There were very well educated and have incredible ingenuity and that is what you see as part of our corporate culture.” Gurkha cigars were initially sold in duty free shops word wide. The first cigar released was the G. Vintage Selection that was followed in 1990 by the Grand Reserve. In 1996, Gurkha made huge strides by releasing the His Majesty’s Reserve, a Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac-infused cigar, which still to this day retains the title as being the world’s most expensive infused cigar, which runs $30,000 per box today. While Gurkha cigars continue to set the standard for super premium luxury cigars in the industry, Kaizad knew that change was the key to succeeding in business. In 2010, he expanded the Gurkha brand into less expensive yet meticulously blended cigars under the East India Trading Company name. Gurkha now offers 48 distinct brands of cigars. There are core brands such as the Cellar Reserve, Royal Challenge, 125th Anniversary, Ghost, and Seduction. The limited edition brands include the newest super-premium luxury cigar the Maharaja, the His Majesty’s Reserve, Cellar Reserve Limitada, Cellar Reserve Edicion Especial, and Triad. The East India Trading company brands include the Nemesis, Wicked Indie, Rogue, Red Witch, Prize Fighter and Classic: Havana Blend. Gurkha also owns the Pedro Martin brand, offering three sizes from that famous master blender. More than five million cigars per year are produced by Gurkha and the brand is sold in more than 25 countries worldwide. Gurkha continues to make a name for itself among connoisseurs not only for using the finest tobacco in its superb blends, it is also renowned for the artistically creative packaging it wraps around its cigars. With an impressive array of flawlessly handcrafted, premium cigar lines in a variety of strengths, tasting profiles and price-points; no matter what your taste, there’s a Gurkha cigar that’s perfect for your palate. Gurkha is known as the Rolls Royce of cigars for producing the world’s most expensive cigars and, as a result, has a client list that reads like a Who’s Who of international fame. It includes current and former presidents, monarchs, world leaders, captains of industry, sheiks, global dignitaries, government officials and celebrities as well as the United States Special Forces and SEAL Teams. “Gurkha Cigars created the ultra- premium cigar market,” Faizad says. “We created our market and the industry followed. Gurkha understood the need of enjoying a high-end luxury cigar. We are also a highly innovative company in regards to packaging. As a matter of fact, we are considered the trendsetters in the industry when it comes to packaging. We looked beyond the traditional cigar box and began making collectors’ items. Our cigar boxes and humidors are desired home décor and become family heirlooms.” Faizad believes it is critically important to keep up-to-date with the latest technology, as well as keeping atop of emerging industry trends. “The cigar industry is really an artisanal process that dates back centuries and in many ways it is important that we stay true to that. However, technological developments 1704CA03

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