posted on : 02 Jul 2013
Jagjeet Singh can modify any car to look like a luxury car or a speed devil, besides designing cars to suit the needs of special people
“I have been working for more than 32 years and the whole idea is to give the not-so-rich the joy of driving a convertible or a sports car within their budget. Besides, I make differently-abled people ride a vehicle by themselves,” Jagjeet Singh, owner of Fine Auto Electric Works in Khan Market, Delhi, comes straight to the point. Though the shop is not that big, one can easily locate it, thanks to the big sign-board.
Jagjeet feels that every youngster aspires and dreams to drive an expensive sports car similar to the one he sees in Hollywood movies. He knows not everyone can afford it and that is where he comes into the picture. “Even a used high end car will come for around Rs. 65 to 70 lakh. I am trying to give them the experience of a luxury car without burning a hole in their pockets.”
It all started when his father Sangat Singh came to Delhi from Chandigarh and started the workshop in 1959, one of the firsts in the area. Though his other two brothers chose to go for other professions, Jagjeet Singh joined his father in 1982. “Initially, we were into regular work of repairing and selling spare parts but that didn’t really excite me. Even my father realised it and gave me a free hand to do anything I wanted with the workshop when he retired. Slowly and gradually, people started coming to me for redesigning their cars. Today, after 15-16 years, more than 170 differently-abled people drive cars redesigned by me and by god’s grace, there have been no mishaps or complaints about my work. Its gives me immense satisfaction. You won’t believe it; people bring in new cars straight from the showroom for modification. That shows how much confidence they have in me,” says the proud 52-year-old technician.
At this point, in comes a helper with a piece of metal asking Jagjeet some questions, to which he gives an exact answer. No second thoughts here. No surprises, considering Jagjeet did his engineering in 1978 and today helps out students in engineering colleges like the
Indian Institute of Technology and the Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology. “These days, youngsters want everything instantly. First thing they want to do when they come to me for training or internship is to design a Ferrari though they might not have any idea of designing even a bicycle. But at least, it is good to see that zeal in them. The saddest part is when after having done engineering, many of them land up in a totally different job, like banking,” he says. He however loves to interact with the youngsters on the design aspect.
Jagjeet Singh’s latest innovation is a convertible which he modified out of a used old Maruti 800. From no angle does it look like one, so we had to ask for photos before the work was done on it but unfortunately he hadn’t clicked one. “Usually, I take around two to three months to modify a car but for this one, I took three years.” This red and black two-seater mean machine is no less than any other high-end convertible—not just in looks but also in performance. It has a remote lock and sounds like a real sports car too. The rims and leather padded seats can give any luxury car a run for its money.
“The advantage of owning a workshop is that you get to ride all kinds of cars,” says Jagjeet, but adds that he has no desire to ride a specific car or own a dream car. “So far, none of my works have had breathtaking designs, but have been according to the requirements of my clients. Now, all I want to do is make something of my own which can compete with an international brand. I am trying to make this car hybrid so that one can easily cover 100-125 km in very less cost,” says Jagjeet Singh with child-like enthusiasm.
He himself drives a Mercedes and thinks that his kids are also showing interest in cars. “It will be up to them. I won’t force them to take up anything. Besides, a farmer’s son doesn’t become a farmer until and unless he tills the soil and grows a plant.”
Meanwhile, when Jagjeet is not working or designing cars, he is dreaming of them. According to him, if one has to be successful in something, one should concentrate on that one thing only. Talk about single minded determination!
By Ngathingpei Khayi