Gurdev Singh’s passion for entrepreneurship and zest for taking on new ventures is apparent in his success in the highly competitive fashion business. He is the President, CEO and founder of Meetu Magic Inc., an importer and wholesaler of women’s apparel, as well as many other brands and companies. Rightly has he been recognized as a business entrepreneur for the year 2012 by the Nargis Dutt Memorial Cancer Foundation in New York. What is, however, less known is that Mr. Singh also focuses his energy towards the Indian community in Long Island. He actively participates in local charities and contributes generously to his Sikh community.
Being in the garment field is nothing new to Delhi born Gurdev Singh, nicknamed DP. His passion for this industry dates back to watching his grandfather, Sardar Khazan Singh, a dyer and printer of raw fabric. His late grandfather, Sardar Khazan Singh who had migrated from Rawalpindi, now in Pakistan, in the wake of tensions leading to partition of India, was one of the very first people to open up shop in Chandni Chowk under the name Datt Dyers and Printers, he says. Later DP’s father, the late Sardar Jeet Singh, expanded in this line of work by becoming an exporter of readymade garments. “The family on my mother’s side ran the famous Ajit Dyers and Pagree Store in Karol Bagh, a must-go-to place for Sikhs,” Gurdev Singh states. It was the this business background that inspired him to launch his import and wholesale business in the United States.
However, DP’s beginnings in America were very humble. His journey began at the age of 22 when he left New Delhi in 1987. He came to the US along with his wife, Hardeep Kaur, with nothing but high hopes and dreams. Yet the couple proved to be a leading example of starting small and making it big. Not wanting to work for someone else, both husband and wife began with setting up shop at local flea markets. After years of hard work, DP opened his first wholesale store on Broadway & 29th Street in Manhattan in 1994. Deciding to wholesale his own label, he went to India to set up a garment factory of his own there. Twenty years later, he has undeniably made his place in the fashion business.
Besides Meetu Magic Inc., the flagship company, Mr. Singh also founded The African Scene, Magic, Mint Green, and Petite Magic. Today his labels are sold to America’s largest department and chain stores- T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross Stores, and Burlington Coat Factory – and in many specialty retail stores such as Rainbow, Joyce Leslie, A&E Stores and Charlotte Rousse. The garments are mainly imported from the Far East and South Asia. Gurdev Singh’s next project on the drawing board may turn out to be in a different field altogether. He is developing a premium location for social events and parties. But for now he does not want to give out any more information on the project.
As for his charity work, he has been doing it quietly. “We have been doing ‘seva’ for the Glen Cove Gurdwara for some time”, he says in all humility. For the past 4years he has donated the Raffle Draw top prize, a car, at the annual Baisakhi Mela organized by the Gurdwara. This has helped raise funds for the Gurdwara projects. He also actively participated in the NY based Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation (NDMF)’s fundraiser on September 30, 2012. Attendees cheered his generosity when he paid $20,000 for a cricket bat autographed by Team India. This generous donation to NDMF is devoted to improving cancer care in India, the primary objective of 30 year old Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation.
Gurdev Singh is also active in the Indian National Overseas Congress (I), aligned with the ruling Congress Party in India. He is the Vice President of its Delhi Chapter. The Chapter President Daljinder Singh, popularly known as Zinda Singh, is all praise for Gurdev Singh whom he describes as the finest person he has come across. He says DP is the main bulwark of Delhi Chapter and has given him the best cooperation in organizing various activities.
It may be a platitude to say that behind every successful man there is a woman. But it is widely believed to hold the truth. DP is lucky to have Hardeep Kaur as his wife, companion and business associate. Hardeep actively associates herself in the business, handling the all important finances and supervises the accounts section. Not to be left behind, , t heir daughter Daman, who only earlier in 2012 got married to Navnit Singh, who runs a high-end limousine service for embassies, added her energetic effort to take the business to the next higher level. She is the fourth generation in this line of business. Their son, Chintan, 15, is in high school and an outgoing boy taking active part in debates and student affairs. The family lives in Old Westbury where they moved five years ago from New Jersey. Mr. Singh and his family live by the motto :Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something. The best of the family is yet to come.