Founder & CEO
Kaizad Hansotia is the CEO and Founder of Gurkha Cigars managing overall operations operations and the development of the company’s new product lines. Hansotia was born in India and educated in the United States and the United Kingdom. The man behind some of the world’s finest cigars is a world traveler and a collector with a keen eye for beautiful things that will stand the test of time. Almost 30 years ago he bought the rights to a small cigar company and then created the premium cigar category and revolutionized an industry.
In 1989 while on vacation in India, Hansotia encountered a man rolling cigars and became so enthralled with his 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. He returned and bought the man’s entire inventory and the brand. The company’s name was “Gurkha”, named after the courageous Nepalese warriors who fought alongside the British, during England’s reign of supreme power in the last 1800s. Hansotia kept the name in honor of these brave soldiers when he purchased the company.
Back in the states he partnered with the highly respected Torao Cuban cigar family to learn about the cigars, expand Gurkha and revolutionize and industry. Hansotia looked at the traditional cigar boxes and found them to be a bit lacking. At this time cigar boxes were quaint but lacking character. His understanding regarding the importance of heirlooms and the aesthetics of packaging laid the path for him to create packaging that set a new industry standard and continues to set the tone.
Gurkha’s were first introduced in 1990 at duty free shops. They sold for anywhere from $14 to $17 a cigar, which was a price that was unheard of at the time, in an industry that averaged $5 per cigar. Gurkha’s were also sold individually while competitors sold by the box. Gurkha’s introduction definitely shook up the industry and revolutionized the way cigars were sold. Hansontia invented a process to infuse the cigars that is used by the company to this day. The company also sold another cigar that was non-infused for a bit less.
Today, Gurkha is known as the manufacture of some of the must exclusive and luxurious cigars and is highly regarded as the producer of some of the most exquisite packaging in the cigar industry. Their boxes are now known as collectors’ pieces and even as investments for buyers who hold limited edition cigars to sell in the future.
Gurkha produces 7 million cigars per year that are sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. And while 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.