Interview with Na Grani co-founder: Anton Vyunov. Comment contest!

Tell us how long have you been in the industry?

As for me, my passion for hookahs began 12 years ago, of course it was a Chinese mini hookah for 400 rubles. In 2013, after several hookahs, I came up with the idea to draw a hookah on my own and give it to a familiar turner for manufacturing. The hookah was made as a test piece of ordinary steel, which caused it to rust ungodly, but the very concept of making a hookah yourself seemed unusual at the time. In 2014, I met Ramil and Ilnaz. Ramil at that time opened a hookah shop, I often bought up at his store, showed him my homemade hookah, and a close communication began. In 2015, we decided to develop a full-fledged hookah and put it into production.

We had no money for our own production, so we turned to outsourcing, where the first sample was made for us, and then the owners of that enterprise began to produce their own hookah based on ours. Naturally, the cooperation stopped before it started. There was only one copy on hand. The topic of production subsided for a while, and the store continued to develop. In 2017, we returned to the dream of producing hookah products. At that time, a small budget was laid down, which was later exceeded several times by loans. We bought one CNC machine and other equipment, underwent a little training, and started working independently in a small room with the three of us on the production of the first batch of hookahs, which was presented on the market in May 2018.

Naturally, this was not the same hookah of the 2015 model, it was a completely redesigned hookah with our new vision and approach. Such values were immediately put at the forefront: the highest quality of processing, maximum convenience in use, only stainless steel, constant innovation both in terms of completely new solutions in the hookah industry and in the processing of existing ones, a wooden box, an affordable price with such a USP — hence the name Na Grani (ON the VERGE). Anyway, we have been working on hookahs for more than 10 years, and in terms of participation in the industry-8 years of the store, 4 and a half years of manufacture.

How did you come up with the idea to start manufacturing hmd?

In fact, for anyone who understands hookahs and is a fan, it is obvious that the foil is not very convenient, although it refers us to traditions, which is certainly worth appreciating. However, even before the appearance of Lotus, many people tried to find a replacement for the good old foil, but everything was ineffective or inconvenient. Even at the very beginning of the growing popularity of Lotus in Russia, it became clear that such devices are the future — the market always values and prefers convenience and ease of use and is ready to make small sacrifices in technical characteristics. Quite quickly, a huge number of people appeared who liked a lower level of heat and this became the norm. But we also wanted to achieve more intense heating (it is clear that smoking on two coals was the idea of the original Lotus creator, but the hookah culture in Russia is different, and there is a request for a higher level of heat), and solve the problems associated with Lotus: Chinese fakes are of very low quality and made of incomprehensible material, and original products are incredibly expensive for the Russian consumer. Based on this market situation, which is quite obvious to us, we decided to develop our own first-ever stainless steel heat controller. Then there was a huge amount of testing and refinement, because the physical properties of stainless steel and aluminum are very different, but we managed it and, as time has shown, the product turned out to be a breakthrough, and other manufacturers followed our example in terms of using stainless steel in such devices. By the way, stainless steel can not be melted on an electric stove, which is also a huge advantage for forgetful people. Archive from 2019:

«Those who follow us on INSTAGRAM are always the first to know about all the news. Yesterday we showed various variants of kalaud, which are currently under development.

The cloud will be made of stainless steel!

We will tell you the details later. Follow our news.»

Have you read my interview with Kaloud founder Reza Bavar ?

When I asked him what he thought of “NA Grani” he said:

I hope that their owners have good intentions when it comes to creating
products that they sell to hookah users around the world. This is the main

What do you think of Reza and what he said?

Read it. We think about him that he is definitely an innovator in the hookah industry, he opened a new successful direction in the form of Lotus, which is used by people in a huge number of countries. However, it seems to us that his understanding of hookah is in the form of elite recreation, hookah is perceived as art, and art, as you know, does not spare either time or money. Therefore, its products are mainly aimed at the development of hookah design and gloss, as it seems to us, and with its concept it fits very well into the modern trend of developed countries on the green agenda and improving the environment, reducing harm to health. Our products are aimed at giving the maximum for those for whom hookah is a way of life and an integral part of everyday life or recreation. All the solutions used in our products are convenient and practical, and complex design solutions are as complex as stainless steel can be within the framework of mechanical processing. Either way, both Kaloud and NA GRANI are good in their environment. Both brands develop the industry from different angles and are represented on the international market.

How did you come up with this particular form of product design? What are its features?

Let’s start with the fact that the first versions of our heat controller were 69mm in diameter. Despite the fact that the original Lotus has a diameter of 74-75mm. Having a decent assortment of bowls in the store, we tested and realized that 90+ percent of the bowls are suitable for our new product. However, it was in the first months after the release of this product on the market that a new rapid trend for large-diameter bowls began, many manufacturers began to make bowls specifically for the most common Lotus. We had to rework the product and make it 74mm in diameter. I thought it necessary to mention this when answering the question about the design, because external dimensions directly affect the appearance of the product. The first version was conceptually the same as the current one, but it had different proportions.

When creating the design, we took into account the following aspects::

1. The product must be objectively beautiful and look interesting. There are certain design decisions that no one in their right mind would call ugly, but you can show indifference. This is exactly the kind of design we tried to develop-beautiful, versatile, and tasteful.

2. The heat controller should be combined with any hookah of any manufacturer, do not look foreign.

3. The design should maximize the play of light reflections of stainless steel. We know what we’re talking about: we tested the same design on aluminum as part of an experiment — it looks more lossy.

The design of our heat controller is a symbiosis of external beauty and functionality. The goal was to achieve comfortable smoking, and stainless steel has a much higher heat capacity, which can only be reduced by thinning the walls, which in turn imposes restrictions on the search for the shape of the product.

Answering briefly the question of how you came to this form: by sorting through ideas, drawing sketches, making test samples, based on your taste. And so on in a circle many times until the desired result is obtained. Here’s the story in pictures:

The first one:



The fourth:

Where are your brand products manufactured (in which country)?

We have our own production facility built from scratch. At first it was a small garage with only one CNC machine and no employees at all. A year later, we moved to a space of 220 square meters and began to slowly buy more equipment.

After another two and a half years, we became cramped in that room and now we have expanded again and moved to a room with a total area of 1100 square meters.

We are fully engaged in the management and development of the enterprise, the development of new products and the improvement of old ones. And all this is located in the city of Izhevsk.

By the way, the guys from DOGMA recently came to us for a tour — read the interview with Dogma) – Izhevsk tobacco producers on a cigar leaf. In late winter and early spring, our production was also visited by Aircraft ambassadors – our store in Izhevsk received distribution of this tobacco brand. By the way, they were very flattering about our store «Na Grani»

There are people from China who offer a copy of your product (including with the option of applying an individual logo). When did you first encounter fakes? What do you think about it? Are you taking any actions to combat this?

We encountered the first fakes around the beginning of spring 2021. At first, these were variants that differ in design, but with an absolutely identical bottom structure (which already indicates a high success of this solution), later samples with an approximate design began to appear, recently there are very similar replicas in the opinion of the layman, however, the quality of their manufacture is significantly lower than ours, plus there is no confidence in the quality of the material used. The design and exact geometry still do not match the original, even from the photos we can easily distinguish the fake from our products.

When we first received the news that there was a fake product Na Grani, we were very upset. On the one hand, only popular products on the market are forged, which means recognition by market, on the other hand, it is still unpleasant. This feeling of chagrin lasted for several months, and later we came to terms with it, because even the world’s largest automakers at one time could not do anything about copyright protection in China with their huge budgets and international lawyers of the highest level.

Within the borders of Russia, we are trying to fight this as much as we can. Outside the Russian Federation, resistance is almost useless. The only way out is endless enthusiasm, faith in what you are doing, and a large baggage of ideas for the future development of both our company and the hookah industry as a whole. When we were developing our stainless steel heat controller, we had already accumulated enough ideas both for the use of other materials and other constructs of similar devices. We have a lot of room to grow, so we don’t worry too much about fakes, no matter how unpleasant it is.

How much did you invest in releasing the final form (including all the trial and error) of the Heat controller Na Grani?

Due to the fact that we are directly involved in product development, it is quite difficult to calculate the exact amount spent on these processes. We still don’t have any industrial designers or hookah market consultants (maybe it’s just as well to preserve the authenticity of ideas from the direct creators of the brand Na Grani). I can write the following data: the development lasted several months, more than 200 samples were tried (consider 200+ kilograms of material), machine time, which also costs money, time for adjusters, endless drawings, distribution of prototypes to hookah masters, own tests, development of the technological process, selection of tools, and so on. We had nothing to rely on, no one had ever made a stainless steel heat controller before. This material has completely different physical properties compared to aluminum. We had to deal with the excessive heat capacity, which caused the device to heat up for a long time and cool down for a long time (the second point especially interferes with comfortable smoking) – we experimented with the wall thickness and general geometry. From a financial point of view, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of rubles. The development and launch of mass-produced products is always a very long and expensive process. Moreover, rough, let’s say, large-node development of a workable prototype is one thing; to launch a series and achieve compliance with our quality standards-this is what requires a really large amount of time, money and effort. I don’t think you can deny the high quality of our products. However, a large number of people, unfortunately, do not see this. This takes time.

Do you think you would have been able to make a heat controller if Reza Bavar hadn’t made a Lotus at the time? Have you ever been in contact with Reza or the Kalaud representatives?

Whether we would have been able to make a heat controller if there wasn’t a Lotus is a controversial question. Thoughts of finding a replacement for the foil were always there, and not only for us, as I wrote at the beginning of the interview. And these thoughts were long before the existence of the company Na Grani. If there were no Lotus on the market, it is highly likely that we would still come to something and get the desired result, but the time context and market demands would definitely differ from those that were at the time of the release of our stainless steel controller, because Lotus, first of all, warmed up the market and created the desired result. steady demand, secondly, has accustomed people to a different distribution of heat in the bowl, different from foil.

Unfortunately, we have never had any contact with Reza or the representatives of Kalaud.

What do you think about our Hookah Shop Interior Award project? Would you like to participate with your store next season?

Interesting project, creative. When viewed from the outside, I would like that, in addition to the main emphasis on the design space, a little more attention was paid to the functionality and rational use of the store space, fast and qualified service, because it is not enough just to create an attractive interior, it is also necessary to maintain a wide range of products for any target audience, a consistently high level of service and high-quality staff. This is our view and one of our values. Alternatively, you can add multiple categories.

In principle, I would like to participate, but for now, most likely, we will refuse due to the fact that our efforts are focused on other areas related to production.

How are you doing with sales abroad? Do you often ship your products to other markets?

Before the well-known what, more than half of our stainless steel heat controllers were sold in Europe, mainly in Germany. (Approx. Author: A week before the article was published, I was in Germany for a local Hookah meetup of hookah enthusiasts, some of them used Na Grani controllers)

For a long time, we could not meet the demand and spent all the proceeds on expanding production and buying new equipment. Hookahs and molasses traps were also sold all over the world, but not in huge volumes. Anyway, in the form of small wholesale and retail, our products are represented almost all over the world: almost all of Europe (Netherlands, Italy, Great Britain, Ireland, Hungary, Spain, Czech Republic, France, Austria, Greece, Romania, Estonia, Cyprus, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Japan, Australia, USA, Canada, China, Israel, Indonesia, India.)

Well, remote corners of Russia. I remember that we were surprised when we ordered a spare part for our hookah delivered by Russian Post to a small Russian island in close proximity to Japan, although we did not send the hookah there.

What are your development plans for the coming year?

We have a record number of new products planned for this year. At the moment, we have already released: a stainless steel board, a collapsible stainless steel awl, a new hookah bag of our own design, a heat controller made of aluminum.

And it is planned to release at least 2-3 more new products this year. So far, we have temporarily reduced our production volumes, but everything is slowly returning to normal, so we hope for the best.

Do you have any special offers for buying heat controllers for Russian hookah lounges?

In our price list there is a section “Small wholesale”, which is also great for HoReCa. However, we always meet you halfway, and if there are hookah bars that want to buy our products, but are not able to get the order amount to small wholesale, please write to us. All contact details are available on our website and in social networks.

Comment contest! The author of the highest rating comment will receive 2 heat controllers from Na Grani: one made of stainless steel and the other made of aluminum. We will summarize the results on June 24 at 16:00 Moscow time.

#На Грани



Крутое и мощное развитие компании из гаражного формата в полного цикла. Чем-то схож с Альфой Хуккой, а значит, что это схема рабочая, надо только приложить усилия. Много усилий. И результатом интересный кальян. Затем же первый в РФ контроллер из нержавеющей стали, а через пару лет, внезапно, выпускаете из алюминия. Ловко!

На кальяне “На грани” курил в Екатеринбурге, но дома такого нет. А вот калаудом вашим пользуюсь. Когда он горяч, снимаю щипцами, поэтому он чуть-чуть поцарапан. Не было ли у вас в планах выпустить отдельно держалку? Ближайший аналог это ухват. для горшков в русской печи.
Референс прикрепляю.

Слышал об одном случае, когда в продажу ушла партия без логотипа “на грани” и люди, купившие, забеспокоились. Так как ваш лого и способ его нанесения это одна из защит продукта от подделок. В тот раз вы оперативно вышли на связь и пояснили, что всё нормально. Вот это я понимаю – клиентоориентированность!

Спасибо, что вы продолжаете вносить свой взгляд на продукты в кальянной индустрии и делаете это качественно и узнаваемо!


Действительно хороший гость для интервью, открыл для себя этот бренд заново. Например, мне казалось что название “НА ГРАНИ” это отсылка к углям которые устанавливают на грань калауда, но я ошибался)
Очень вдохновляет услышать путь людей, которые с нуля переосмыслили, казалось бы, такую устоявшуюся вещь как калауд и привнесли свои новшества, которые оценили далеко за границами России, возможно это и не “переворот игры”, но такие вещи определенно двигают индустрию.
И, успев попользоваться продукцией “НА ГРАНИ”, отмечу, что приятно когда “ценности” воплощены не только на словах, а и на деле – качественные и детализированные аксессуары, так что в плане “элитарного отдыха” можно и потягаться с Резе)
Вообще, было бы классно разыграть экскурсию на производство либо один из тестовых экземпляров калауда (если они ещё сохранились), выглядят очень интересно, особенно первый; даже не задумывался сколько всего факторов учитывается при их создании.
Подведя итог: видно что вкладывают душу, хочется пожелать ребятам только успехов, их продукция определенно заслуживает внимания, так что следим за новинками!


Продукт действительно достоин похвалы. Передача жара на высоте, при том условии что отсутствует крышка которая в той же колодке помогает контролировать жар просто не нужна, сам hmd держит жар достаточно долго, что позволяет продлить покур.

Очень горд за отечественный продукт который вышел на зарубежный рынок и не просто задержался, а покорил его! Часто замечаю зарубежных блогеров который преподносят свой новый контент на hmd НА ГРАНИ, будь это новый кальян или новый вкус табачных производителей!

Что касаемо производства, это всегда сложный продукт, часто слышал что компании отдают на аутсерс изготовления своих продуктов, дело в том, чтобы создать тот же кальян, требуется оборудование, а для новых брендов купить свой станок который может обойтись минимум в 700к (ну такое себе удовольствие, тем кто вот только знакомится с индустрией изнутри).
Но то что вас могут обмануть или выставить чек с непредсказуемыми растратами никто не застрахован!

Отличная замена китайской колодке по качеству! Но вес НА ГРАНИ достаточно весомый!

Я ставлю продукту 10 довольных Европейцев из 10!


Очень классно, что российские производители ушли от форм-фактора калауда и даже стали использовать другие материалы для производства колодок.
На Грани одни из самых заметных в этом плане.
Очень приятно было слышать, что на заграничных рынках так хорошо продается.
В общем только успехов компании На Грани

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