|Sara-Trans Group CEO Jasbeer Siingh (second from right) discusses the features of a TuffBag with a prospective customer.|
Leading Indian manufacturer/distributor overcomes
economic adversity with focus on customer satisfaction
To operate in the instrument bag and case sector, currently one of the music products industry’s most competitive categories, Sara-Trans Group CEO Jasbeer Siingh explains, “It is extremely important to be on top of the game, sourcing the right product, and always maintaining a high level of quality.” Combining this awareness with product differentiation, thoughtful leadership, and experience-honed expertise, he adds, is what sets Sara-Trans apart in this crowded arena. The Sara-Trans Group is a major distributor, retailer, and manufacturer of musical instrument bags, cases, and accessories. Headquartered in Noida, India, it offers a comprehensive range of bags for guitars, keyboards, drums, hardware, cymbals, sticks, percussion, wind and brass instruments, accordions, racks, effects pedals, mixers, amplifiers, etc.
Along with the perennial challenges of a competitive market, in recent years Sara-Trans has faced significant obstacles when the effects of global economic turmoil were compounded by a number of natural disasters. Severe flooding in the north of India and flooding and landslides in Kerala in the south visited tragedy upon many and adversely affected the business cycle. However, decades of experience has guided Sara-Trans through all manner of storms, both economic and natural, allowing it to “remain steady and maintain its commitment on all fronts, without question.”
Founded by Siingh in 1982, Sara-Trans started out as an offshoot of his family business, a manufacturing and trading conglomerate in the steel, textiles, and agricultural industries. After Siingh led the company into the bag and case segment, it became known for its line of high-quality, ergonomic “TuffBags,” with designs that have been well received all over the world.
Strong, steady support from clients, suppliers, and staff over the years has contributed to the company’s success. Today, a workforce of more than 650 produces about 2,300 bags and cases every day in its 96,000-square-foot factory. With products sold to OEM buyers and distributors on six continents, Sara-Trans has received several Government of India awards for leading the nation’s export of bags, and Siingh has served on the Governing Council of India’s prestigious 19-member Export Promotion Council under the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, for the last seven years.
Over the years, Sara-Trans has significantly expanded its North India production facility along with its product selection, workforce, and use of modern technology including computer-monitored and -controlled manufacturing equipment. It is currently in the process of acquiring an array of retail, distribution, and manufacturing companies, expanding its influence and market share throughout India.
Leading India’s most ambitious effort to build a market for Western music products, in 1985 Siingh established Sara-Trans’ Reemal distribution division. Operating out of offices in nine cities across India, it introduced a long list of top-tier product lines from brands such as Fender, Tama, Sabian, Remo, Dunlop, Ernie Ball, Elixir, Roli, Akai, Alesis, Numark, Martin Guitars, EMG, On-Stage Stands, Conn-Selmer, and Seymour Duncan. The presence of the company’s many warehouses and offices in major cities spread over India gives Sara-Trans a large footprint, excellent brand recognition, and significant logistical advantages over its competitors.
In 1996, Siingh launched the OnStage chain of m.i. retail stores across India. Showcasing a full range of major product lines, OnStage stores have been designed in roughly the style of their counterparts in the U.S. and Europe while catering to Indian customers’ preference for warm, intimate retail environments. Further burnishing his relationship with the retail channel and as an influential veteran in the Indian music industry, Siingh served as president of the Indian Music Merchants Association (IMMA) for seven continuous years. He now serves as the organization’s vice chairman.
As Sara-Trans has strived to represent a global standard of precision and perfection with every product it sells, its clients have come to appreciate the technical challenge of manufacturing a guaranteed product of consistent quality and standards. Earning credibility with its customers over the years has led not only to repeat business but also, through word of mouth, a more prominent industry profile and expanded clientele. As a result, Sara-Trans has become one of the largest and most widely recognized manufacturers of bags for the music products, sporting goods, firearms, and travel industries.
Being very conscious of the social environment in India, Siingh provides employment within Sara-Trans Group to needy women, giving them an opportunity to empower themselves with dignity and pride. As with his philanthropic work, this effort is conducted in accordance with India’s New Government Schemes and policies.
According to Siingh, Sara-Trans’ future “looks bright,” energized by an all-new catalog of fresh products, incorporation of new technology, and “product innovations that will delight the market. The age-old adage ‘Customer is King’ has proven extremely successful for us all these years,” he concludes, “and we work towards customer satisfaction dedicatedly, every single day.”