Interview with the founder of Kaloud – Reza Bavar.

Can you please tell your story of how and when you get into the hookah industry?

I fell in love with it and saw it as an amazing tool to connect people.  Over the years I thought about ways to make it better and eventually the Kaloud Lotus was born out of that desire in 2012.


I know some people from the hookah industry who have done a successful business, but don’t smoke hookah. How regularly do you smoke hookah per week? What are your favorite tobacco brands and flavors?

It depends on the week, but I’m enjoying a Krysalis Calix right now as I type.

On average I enjoy Hookah about three times per week, unless I’m testing products, in which case it might be three times a day.


I remember a time (2012) when George from Hookafina tobacco (I’ve been his Russian distributor) told me that some unique product appeared on the US market. It was Kaloud. To be honest, I’ve been sceptical. If you remember there was some device from the US called “Hookah Flip”, and Ive been not impressed of it.

So I didn’t believe in any kind of hookah innovations. After several years, (I think in 2015-2016) I figured out that your product gained some popularity on the Russian market. After a while people start talk that your product has made a revolution in the industry. And I totally agree with that. Can you please tell how you came up with the idea of Kaloud Lotus? What was the story?

I wanted to figure out a way to make using Hookah less harmful.  I realized that people normally were applying too much heat and using too much charcoal and so I wanted to cook the tobacco instead of burning it.  Unfortunately, now people add in four or five pieces of charcoal, which may be convenient for them, but they are causing long term damage to their bodies.  This is why we included a lid with the Lotuses… to trap heat and minimize charcoal use.  Now, after more than a decade of meticulous labor, we now have scientific proof via a laboratory in Germany of the effectiveness of what we create. You can see our lab results here.


I know how it’s difficult to create some new idea with a totally new product. Need to invest into press-form -> test it -> identify problems -> invest into new press-from -> repeat X times.  Can you tell how much have you invested into the full development of this product (first Kaloud Lotus)?

The first Kaloud Lotus was several hundred thousands of dollars when tooling and prototypes and design and development were all calculated.


Who’ve been the first people from hookah community who supported your product? When you realized that you became famous?

The first were Smoke or Pass (Shaunn) and Dragonfly Mike.  They were very supportive from the beginning and without their YouTube reviews I don’t think Kaloud would have ever succeeded.  I still haven’t realized that I’m famous.  Hahaha.


When did you start selling your product abroad? Who’ve been the first distributor and which country?

We started selling abroad in 2013.  The first countries were France (El-Badia) and Germany.  We also sold some in Russia to individual users.


What is Kaloud company now? Have you ever calculated how many Kaloud Lotus you sold in pcs for all history? How many representatives in a different countries you have at the moment?

Kaloud is a company devoted to the Mission of Transforming the World one puff at a time.  We do this by creating beautiful products that function incredibly well when used properly and also act to reduce the harmful effects of using Shisha.

We did almost one year of testing at a lab in Germany and have found that the Krysalis Eltheria with the Lotus and our Ayara filters reduces almost all of the harmful compounds in Hookah Smoke to nearly zero.  We are still a very small company and we have suffered due to counterfeiters and people who copy our products.  Despite all this, we will do our best to help our Tribe have the best possible Hookah exprience.


Do you have any kind of awards for your product? In 2016 John Calliano awarded you for the “Contribution to the development of the hookah industry”.

The Krysalis Eltheria was recently awarded two design awards, which we are all very proud of.  As far as I know, we are the first company in the Hookah industry to win a design award.  I am grateful to the committee that awarded us and also to John Caliano for recognizing the contributions Kaloud makes.

Many manufacturers in Russia who’ve been awarded with this statuette put information about it on their product package to emphasize community recognition. I didnt find any information about this award on your website. Why?

To be honest, we didn’t know about the award until our distributor told us about it.  With that said, we try our best to be humble and focus on what we do best — create. 😉


What is the mission of Kaloud?

To Transform the World one Puff at a time.  When people use Hookah they connect and when they connect in a deep way they can know each other, share their humanity, and, hopefully respect one another.  This is how the world will become better: one person at a time.


When did you first encounter a counterfeit for your product? How it was?

In 2013 and it was very painful.  I sacrificed a lot to create Kaloud and was almost homeless.  To see people steal what I created is very hard, but, as I mention above, we are doing our best to create and continue to enhance the experience our Tribe has.


Where is your manufacturing located now? In which country? Why in this country?

We manufacture in China, the Netherlands, Italy, and Czech republic.


Which actions you do to prevent counterfeiting?

We do everything we can, including online searches.  Mostly we hope that the community will reject the counterfeiters and the copiers in support of the authentic innovators.


Which similar heat management devices on the global market you admit as non-counterfeiting your product? Badcha, Apple On Top, Provost?

We review products we consider infringing and contact them to negotiate license agreements if possible.  If a product is not infringing we take no action.


There are some famous Russian manufacturers: Zeppelin, NaGrani – what do you think about them?

I hope their owners have good intentions when it comes to the products they are selling to the Hookah users around the world.

What do you think about French product – Quasar Raas?

I like Quasar, they have always been respectful of our Intellectual Property and they are creative in their own way.


Do you practice royalty collection from other manufacturers?



The most famous manufacturer on the Russian market is “Kalaud Alpha”, in 2019 been published the interview with a company owner,

direct translation of the video name
“How to make money in the hookah industry?! Million dollar secret”
Key points from this video:
– Yes they have made a full copy of Kaloud Lotus
– In the best month they sold several million pieces of their product
– Other manufacturers do a copy on their product
– Kaloud Lotus II – have a nice design, but bad functional 

What do you think about it?

I don’t know who he is, but in general, I think if a person is focused only on themselves they are likely afraid of something–maybe everything.  In these situations, people are living in a kind of delusional state where they don’t really understand what they are doing and, by extension, the Karma they are accumulating.  I think it is unfortunate that many people do these things because they are likely only interested in the short term perceived benefit of their unfortunate actions and not at all on the benefit they can bring to others.  In this way society sometimes celebrates and supports a kind of canabalistic behavior that is actually counter to its long term interests.  We get the World we deserve, so maybe people should start considering what kind of World they truly want and behaving in ways that will bring that into being.


Not long ago we have punlished an interview “Hookah in China” with the onwer of hookah shop in China where we talked a lot about counterfeiting. I have asked a question:
” Is there a way for a hookah manufacturer to fight against its product being counterfeited in China? For example, to patent all their models in China, or something else.”
and got a reply:
” It seems to me no, no matter how you protect your brand from the legal side, the Chinese will make it the same by 100% or 99, without finishing it to the end, so to speak, for example, from the 3 available drawings on the diffuser, they will make two and will not add the original logo”

Do you agree with this point?

No, this is a misrepresentation of what is actually permissible under the Law in China and in almost every other country on the planet.  Counterfeiters and people making illegal copies operate like parasites and we do the best we can to fight them off.


How do you like the idea to create an “association of hookah manufacturers against counterfeiting”?  Assotiation hire lawyers who check the web and local communities everyday to find counterfeiting and do legal actions against counterfeiting manufacturers.

It might be helpful, but ultimately, the people promoting and using the products have to decide what they really want.  We’ve asked event organizers like Hookah Battle to restrict the use of counterfeits and copies, but this is only one element.

Every choice has some kind of consequence, regardless of whether we can perceive the causal links or not.  I would much rather see people realizing and then deciding that support of creation and creators is more valuable than the slight savings associated with buying products that are cheaper, but that are being sold by people who have no interest in the greater good.


Compared to many other products from the hookah industry, your products are pretty expensive. Average hookah costs 100-300 euro, for you hookah retail price starts from 564 euro. 

Packaging looks like I can find this item in a jewelry store.

Do you agree with the point that Kaloud is a luxury segment product and not a mass-market product?

Most of the Hookahs you’re referring to are just a Stem or maybe a Stem and Base.  The price you’re referencing includes our Aeolis Hose, Aeolis Hose Tips, our Samsaris Bowl, One of our Kaloud Lotuses, and maybe the Vestara Tongs.  We do not consider ourselves luxury, we consider ourselves affordable quality.  As for our packaging, we think people who purchase our products deserve the best from the packaing to the products to the experience, which is what we deliver.


Let’s go back to the Lotus product. You mentioned that you’ve invested several hundred thousands of dollars into development of this product and I understand that you put into the final cost of the product this part of development expenses. Which is fair for sure.

But some people think that you put a really high margin into your product, taking into account the price difference between fake and original Lotus (more than 10 times). Yes, fake products are poor quality, violate the rights of patent owners and are dangerous for health, but anyway – 10 times difference in the price is pretty much.

Usually you can buy in China fake Wookah, or Aeon and the price difference will be like X2 or X3 but never 10. What do you think about such words?

First off, our prices are not 10x our costs and I also feel that the “race to the bottom” mentality in terms of pricing in our industry is not really benefitting anyone.  In fact, some of the cheap products use toxic chemicals and people are literally poisoning themselves over time.  Why?  To save a small sum?  This may ot prove wise in time.

With that said, I think most people who make this kind of statement don’t appreciate what it takes to run a company.  I don’t pocket the cash, I reinvest it in creating new products and services, which creates jobs, which fuels the economy everyone benefits from.  The mentality of low profits is really only relevant to companies selling products that are commodotized.  Our products are unique creations which we spend years in some cases engineering and preparing for introduction into the marketplace and so they are not commodoties

Don’t you think that you could have more economical success, if you will launch some cheap version of Lotus without packaging for hookah lounges?
Some stats: in Russia we have around 8000-12000 hookah lounges or restaurants with hookah service. Each lounge can buy 20-30 Kaloud Lotus, and they don’t need any packaging since it’s not for personal use.

90% of lounges are ready to use any kind of HMD instead of foil, which gives us the number of potential market value: 90% X 10 000 X 25 =  225 000 pcs. On the website of the official distributor in Russia the price for Lotus starts from 5100 rub.(58,3 euro). So if some lounge would like to buy 25 Lotus it will cost 1457 euro, for such a budget it’s possible to buy 17-18 pcs of popular on the market Alpha Hookah Beat.

I’m sorry to say that, but I don’t know a lot of lounges from Russia who use the original Lotus.

First off, we do sell lounge packs to lounges.  With that said, I understand your position, but consider that many of these lounges are spending hundreds of Euros per unit on high-end hookahs and accessories.  They then charge their customers some amount per use of their products and perhaps also make money on food and drinks.  Like any other investment, they should recoup their money and then transition into profit in a short period of time.  For most lounges they directly benefit from what we create but they do not understand the ethics of supporting the company that has facilitated their growth as well as the increased efficiency they benefit from as a direct result of using our technology.  For the vast majority of lounges the difference between using a cheap copy and an original Kaloud Lotus is minimal when taken in the broader context of the time it will take them to recoup their investment.


Have you ever been to Brazil? Many people know about Lotus and different kinds of HMD, but 95% of the market uses the traditional foil. People are not even interested in any kind of cheap fake Lotus. Why do you think this type of product didn’t gain any popularity in this country?

I have never been to Brazil so I can’t really speculate.  Hopefully someday.

You have a deep brand philosophy, and I believe that many people from Russia and other countries can support and share it. But I’m afraid it is not enough to just share it in this interview and on your website.
80% of people who buy a fake product don’t even realise that they do something wrong. Moreover most of them think that if the product has a different name or design it doesn’t counterfeit any patents.

In my opinion you should promote your mission and philosophy to the masses.
Hire social media managers in countries where you have a distributor (by the way we have a nice IT service for that),
support lounges who use an original product (for ex. give them a “illuminated sign” of Kaloud authorized, moreover I think we can make a special badge for such lounges in our Where2smoke project),
support young hookah innovators (via sponsoring Hookah IN project or other similar projects),
participate at hookah expos.
It doesn’t mean that you will defeat the counterfeiting, but it will definitely gather around you an international community who share your mission and philosophy. What do you think about my words? Do you have any plans regarding it?

I really appreciate and admire the Russian Hookah culture.  We would love to grow our brand in Russia and connect with our Tribe there, I am open to all ideas really.  Thank you for the suggestions.


Final question: can I ask you to give a small present from Kaloud to the author of the best comment (with highest rating) for this article?

Of course, we’d happy to. We can offer a Stainless Steel Lotus III

Samsaris (any version)

Sitra Thermal Diffuser

and Ayara Carbon Filter.

Author of the comment with a highest rating on the date and time: 28th April 2022 16:00 (4PM) Moscow time, will get a gift from Kaloud.

#alpha hookah
#Apple On Top
#heat management
#hookah flip
#jc award
#south america cup



* Update with comment contest, wrong picture and link with Ayara Carbon Filter, here’s the correct one:


Since the most of the comments have the same number of vote. I will offer Reza to select the best one.


Ознакомился со статьёй (хорошая, раскрывающая миссию компании, рассказывающая идею основателя компании). Браво, Станислав!
Реза говорит не о материальной составляющей бренда, а о том, что его продукт нацелен в будущее. И стоит на прочном фундаменте настоящего, где люди совершают хорошие поступки сейчас, заботясь о здоровье других людей.
Контрафакт и подделки, конкуренты – с этим всё понятно.

У меня вопрос больше про маркетинг. Продвижение продуктов в Америке, Европе и России сильно отличается? У нас я заметил продвижение только от двух персон: Антон Гайворонский (John Calliano) и Евгений Апин. Про Антона говорить не буду, личность известная своими качественными роликами на Yotube. Кстати, недавно он выпустил обзор кальяна KALOUD Eltheria

Евгений дивный мастер рисования светом. Фотограф. Он продвигает ваши продукты давно. Регулярно вижу их в инстаграме @apinphoto

Особенно запомнилась эта работа:

Кальян и аксессуары от @kaloud
Клёвый комплект же, да?
Md.: @ailana_ula
Loc.: @hookahplace_garden

И вызвала эмоции у меня, как акына:
Рукой на опыте взяла
Kaloud’a мундштук.
И тут же нежно кинула
К моей френдзоне look.

Но, я фотограф, ты прости.
Женат, да и ребёнок есть.
Поэтому садись вот так.
Теперь вставай вот тут.

Пускай у публики моей
Вновь слюнки потекут.
От вида ног, красивых плеч
На фотоснимках тут.

А что, кальян? Да, вот,
Стоит. На столике в углу.
И мы с ним делаем опять
Шикарнейшую годноту.

Интересно, использует ли компания Kaloud результаты труда этих людей для продвижения в мире или это чисто локальная история для русскоязычных людей?

I got acquainted with the article (good, revealing the mission of the company, telling the idea of ​​the founder of the company). Bravo, Stanislav!
Reza is not talking about the material component of the brand, but that his product is aimed at the future. And it stands on a solid foundation of the present, where people do good deeds now, taking care of the health of other people.
Counterfeit and fake, competitors – everything is clear with this.

I have a question about marketing. Are product promotions in America, Europe and Russia very different? Here I noticed promotion from only two people: Anton Gaivoronsky (John Calliano) and Evgeny Apin. I won’t talk about Anton, a person known for his high-quality videos on Yotube. By the way, he recently released a review of the KALOUD Eltheria hookah

Eugene is a marvelous master of painting with light. Photographer. He has been promoting your products for a long time. I regularly see them on Instagram @apinphoto

I especially remember this work:

Hookah and accessories by @kaloud
Cool set, right?
Md.: @ailana_ula
Loc.: @hookahplace_garden

She evoked emotions in me, like an akyn (sorry for the verse, it’s hard for me to translate it beautifully into Google):
I took it by hand from experience
Kaloud’s mouthpiece.
And then gently threw
To my friendzone look.

But, I’m a photographer, you’re sorry.
IM married and has a child.
So sit like this.
Now get up right here.

Let my public
The saliva will flow again.
From the kind of legs, beautiful shoulders
On the photos here.

What about a hookah? Yes, here
Costs. On a table in the corner.
And we do it again
The most luxurious suitability.

I wonder if the Kaloud company uses the results of the work of these people to advance in the world or is it a purely local story for Russian-speaking people?


Great interview!

It seems like he truly wants to innovate the industry, but at the same time. The industry is not willing to pay for the authentic item when a copy is made available for 1/10th of the price.

I think manufacturing in China opens him up to easier and quicker knockoffs. I’m sure he’s trying to cut costs, but they have all the specs and can literally mass produce without a logo so easily after production for Kaloud units.

Essentially the end user is paying for the Intellectual Property and Research and Development (IP, R&D).
Some consumers/businesses are more budget conscious. Some consumers/businesses understand the value of time and money invested into a project/product/business and are happy to pay the “premium” so to speak.

I still use foil and coals for my catering business.
For personal use, I use Alpaca bowls and Lotus 1 and Lotus 1+. I did not enjoy the lotus 2.

I have not had a chance to try the lotus 3 yet. Hopefully it is better than the lotus 2.

But the lotus 1/1+ is still 👑.


Я знаком с Резой и как коллега разделяю его озабоченность из-за подделок на рынках разных стран. К сожалению, работа с патентным правом и защитой авторских прав в России на слабом уровне. Наши производители вдохновившись данным аксессуаром уже создали подобные формы и функционал в своих изделиях.

Лично я принял решение свою новую модель Solomon Gold hookah комплектовать Kaloud Lotus Auris + Kaloud Samsaris Auris Black Silicone and Aluminium Gold colour. Тем самым поддержать коллегу в премиум сегменте.

На этом наши взаимоотношения между брендами не ограничатся подобными коллабоациями. В скором времени мы представим ещё несколько новинок, которые вдохновили нас на создание продуктов при личном диалоге с Резой. Он очень яркий представитель кальянной индустрии, я рад с ним познакомиться, надеюсь наше знакомство подарит каждому из вас новые впечатления от новых продуктов в 2022 году.


I know Reza and, as a colleague, I share his concerns about fakes in the markets of different countries. Unfortunately, work with patent law and copyright protection in Russia is at a weak level. Our manufacturers, inspired by this accessory, have already created similar forms and functionality in their products.

Personally, I decided to complete my new Solomon Gold hookah model with Kaloud Lotus Auris + Kaloud Samsaris Auris Black Silicone and Aluminum Gold colour. Thus, to support a colleague in the premium segment.

On this, our relationship between brands will not be limited to such collaborations. Soon we will present a few more novelties that inspired us to create products in a personal dialogue with Reza. He is a very bright representative of the hookah industry, I am glad to meet him, I hope our acquaintance will give each of you new impressions of new products in 2022.


I found this interview very exciting. We are a Swiss shisha manufacturer and have the vision move the hookah market with innovation to the revolution.
Accordingly, we see the challenges of the Kaloud brand. The buyers often think simple and do not see why the products are so expensive from the inventor than these from the imitators.
In fact, the inventor had to invest a lot of energy and money to make the product marketable, but he also has to make sure that all parties involved can and must earn a little from it. This starts with the R&D and goes through the production, the patent lawyers, to the wholesalers and stores that sell this product.
A simple copier, who only thinks for himself, saves these steps and can add his margin directly to the production costs. However, supporting these copiers can have serious consequences in the long term.

If we don’t stick together and support innovative companies, we can expect that there will be less innovation in the market and the products will lose quality in long term. But in the same way we as inventors and manufacturers have the duty that we have to do our best, to offer our innovative products for the fairest price.

Let’s make the hookah industry a qualitative and innovative industry. Yes the one-time purchasing costs of products can be more expensive, but this way we are all sure that the quality is right and more innovation will follow.
We appreciate the shisha community a lot and are deeply honored to be a part of it.

feel the change.
Your Fresh Smoke Team


This was a fantastic interview that was filled with great information that really detailed the history and reasons for why this is such an Innovative invention still today and people are still trying to innovate on top of it and honestly even though some companies have done a decent job creating unique and different keep management devices this is still a stand out of all of them to this day


Это конечно все хорошо, рад что видит дружбу с Россией , но колодки за 5к – это перебор.
Сколько бы плюсов не было, вся технологичность, экологичность итд, в первую очередь покупатель платит рублем.
Для европейских стран , конечно это не большие деньги. Но опять же сейчас в европе кальянная индустрия очень небольшая и слабая. Поэтому там могут сработать любые судебные тяжбы по патентам. И в европе нет такого уровня контрафакта как в России.
Через несколько лет многие европейские любители кальяна тоже могут задаться вопросом “А зачем покупать колодку за 50$ , если можно за 5$ ? ” и будут правы.
Я понимаю все тягости в производстве и что в себестоимость входит разработка продукта, но если подделка может стоить условные 5$ , то и оригинал может вполне столько же стоить. При условии, что оригинал точно так же производят в Китае и скорее всего даже на тех же заводах )

Тем более на рынке уже полно “наших” версий колодок , от тех же альф или на грани, которые стоят дороже китайских, но могут конкурировать на рынке.


This, of course, is all good, I’m glad that I see friendship with Russia, but pads for 5k are too much.
No matter how many pluses there are, all manufacturability, environmental friendliness, etc., first of all, the buyer pays in rubles.
For European countries, of course, this is not a lot of money. But again, now in Europe, the hookah industry is very small and weak. Therefore, any litigation on patents can work there. And in Europe there is no such level of counterfeit as in Russia.
In a few years, many European hookah lovers may also ask themselves the question “Why buy a block for $50, if you can for $5? ” and they will be right.
I understand all the hardships in production and that product development is included in the cost, but if a fake can cost a conditional $ 5, then the original can cost quite the same. Provided that the original is produced in China in the same way and most likely even at the same factories)

Moreover, the market is already full of “our” versions of pads, from the same alphas or on the verge, which are more expensive than Chinese ones, but can compete in the market.

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