Surjit Singh is one of many Punjabis who have been successful in fulfilling their dreams that are often shared by many Americans. On my last visit to Dayton, Ohio I met him in Gurdwara service and learned about his achievements. Born in village Bagga, Tehsil Nakodar, district Jalandhar on 1st April 1956, Mr. Surjit Singh came to Dayton in December 1985 to supervise Taste of India restaurant owned by S. Mohan Singh Sandhu and Sarwan Singh Sandhu. In 1989, he joined an American restaurant Helen of Troy as general manager. He quit this job and joined Bill Knapp’s restaurant as general manager in December 1989. In 1991, he started his own restaurant Amar India in the name of his father. It was second Indian restaurant in Dayton at that time. In 1994, he opened Ambar India restaurant in Cincinnati. Again in 1995, he started another restaurant in Cincinnati in the name of his grand father Anand India. In 1997, he opened his third restaurant Amul India in Cincinnati. In 2003, he started Amul India restaurant in Columbus, capital of Ohio. In 2004, he opened his second restaurant in Dayton Jeet India.
After getting primary education from his native Govt. school, he joined Khalsa Higher Secondary School in Nangal Ambia and passed higher secondary in 1973. Then he did his graduation from Guru Nanak National College Nakodar in 1977. He started his career as electrical shopkeeper in 1980 at Dhilwan. In 1980 he joined a Japanese company Shamizo Construction in Iraq as an electrician. Due to Iraq-Iran war, he had to return to India after seven months as the company closed the work. In 1981, he came to America and worked as electrician in Boston and also part time job in a restaurant. In 1982, he migrated to Houston, Texas and finally came to Dayton in 1984.
He also does the job of real estate. When Surjit Singh came to States he had only 200 dollars. Through his hard work and perseverance he now owns an estate. He was awarded the Best business of the year Award by chamber of commerce in October 2001 in small business category. He is God fearing and kindhearted person. He has supplied free kitchen to religious places like, Churches, Temples and Gurdwaras in Dayton and Cincinnati. He had free kitchen in Amar India, Anand India and in a public park and collected $14000 donation which he contributed to Red Cross on 4th Oct. 2001 to help victims of September 11 terrorist attack on Twin Towers in New York. He has donated 1 lakh rupees to his village Gurdwara and 50 thousand to Govt. school. In the memory of his deceased father he established a special fund worth Rs 1 lakh in 1997 in his village to help the poor girls. Rs. 5000 is given as donation on the marriage of the poor girl. He is currently helping the Pingalwara and other charitable hospitals in many parts of India. When asked, why he did not join farming with his father, he replied with a smile and said, “When I was just 7 years old, I made up my mind not to join farming and have business as a profession. I was inspired by a small shop in my native village and that became my model for the future.” He is very grateful to God that his dream has been fulfilled.
He got married in 1991 with Jatinder Kaur of village Bajwan of Shahkot. They are blessed with two children, Aneetpal Kaur and Ganeev Singh. He believes that his wife has made a great contribution towards his success in life. Surjit Singh enjoys the support and company of many family members including sisters, brothers, and brother-in-laws who are settled in neighboring cities and are well placed in their respective fields.
(Charanjit Singh Gumtala.)
253, Ajit Nagar, Amritsar.