In the small town and winding by-lanes of Meerut, 70 kms from Delhi, lies a workshop, a company where Musical instruments are made. Not any ordinary company where instruments are made, but the Country’s BIGGEST wind instrument industry is housed here, famously known as Nadir Ali & Company.
Nadir Ali was a musician in the British Army during the 1800s. Post that, he arrived back in India and in 1885, he set up his own company, manufacturing brass made musical wind instruments. He formed the first Brass band in 1910 with his manufactured instruments.
Present Day scenario:
Today, his family has a stronghold on this business and with an annual turnover of approx.1 crore rupees which is no mean feat. Housed in the Jali Kothi market area of Meerut, 90% of the business in this market is owned by Nadir Ali’s family.
What do they make:
Wind musical instruments such as French Horns with circular bass loops, Brass trumpets, clarinets, Cornets, Euphoniums, Baritone, Tenor Trombones, Bugles, Flageolets, Drums, BagPipes and their accessories are manufactured under the expert supervision of current MD, Aftab Ahmad, who is over 70 now. The methods today are modern, to hone metal tubes to create each musical note with crystal clarity. It is actually quite an art. Each wind instrument made here consists of about 200 parts and it is manufactured in 17 process operations to make it Perfect. The actual fine tuning of the instrument can take from 1 to 7 days till the notes are actually precise and clear.
The band’s musical instruments are famous the world over for their craftsmanship, making them prized possessions, and their quality has made them reach not only the Indian Armed forces but even the famous Royal Marines Band in Britain.
However, the workshop is soon moving base to Bulandshahr as communal tension seems on the rise in Meerut according to sources. Hopefully, the Nadir Ali & Company progresses another 100 years ahead keeping the legacy of Wind Instrument music alive.