INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS BUILT ON CSU FOUNDATION
Attending Cleveland State University is a valued tradition for the Singh family. But unlike other “legacy families” where several relatives attend the same school, the four Singh alumni travelled a bit farther – from their homeland of India.
It was an experience that helped shape the successful careers of brothers and cousins Kabir, Jagmit, Preet and Prabhjot Singh.
When Kabir, the eldest, decided to pursue a master’s degree, his father sent him to the United States. Helping bridge the 7,500-mile distance between Cleveland and New Delhi, India, was Monte Ahuja, a long-time family friend who earned his MBA from CSU in 1975 and went on to become a prominent business leader and philanthropist.
“Monte is more than a close friend and confidant; he’s family,” says Preet Singh. “He and my father, Jagdip, are from the same city in Punjab in North India and have known each other for more than 30 years.
“So when Kabir wanted to pursue an MBA, my father looked to Monte for guidance. Monte was closely associated with CSU and knew the strength of its academic programs.
He suggested that Kabir, and later the rest of us, come to Cleveland and attend Cleveland State. We all followed his advice, and my father was comfortable entrusting Monte with his children’s education in a foreign country thousands of miles away.”
During the time that all four Singhs were students at CSU, they lived together in an apartment and commuted to campus. All were members of the International Students Organization, with Kabir and Jagmit both serving as treasurer. All excelled academically.
“We found a friendly environment, both at the University and in the city, which was important to us as foreigners,” says Singh. “CSU had a big international community which, through events and programs, helped us start well at the college and fit in easily. This made us comfortable and prepared us to better absorb the educational experience CSU had to offer. The mechanical and industrial engineering programs and the MBA program that we studied had depth and set a foundation that we continue to use in our professional careers.”
All four Singhs came to CSU with a common goal – graduate, return to India, and use their knowledge and skills to help grow the family businesses, Sigma Group, a leading manufacturer and marketer of automotive components.
“We were focused on choosing the right classes to help us gain and apply specific knowledge to advance our businesses back home. CSU offered a wide variety of course offerings that made our decisions easier. The faculty was top class and we had the opportunity to complement our theory with significant field training that was woven into our course work,” notes Singh.
Today, Kabir is president of Sigma Vibracoustic Pvt. Ltd and Sigma-Freudenberg-NOK Pvt. Ltd. in New Delhi, Jagmit is director of Sigma Moulds & Stampings, Preet is managing director at Sigma Automotive Materials, and Prabhjot is director of marketing and sales at Sigma Global Inc.
In 2013, Kabir Singh received CSU’s President’s Award for International Achievement.