The Maharaja's Rolls Royce Sweeper Fleet
This story is also available in our 'Sweeping: It's a Funny Business' section.
This story from India shows what can happen when people are judged by their appearance. It also illustrates that no matter how 'high flying' your company's brand might be, it can be taken down with a mistake in judgment!
The world's most famous car brand, Rolls Royce, is also associated with Rajasthan. That's because a famous buyer of this car was the Maharaja of Alwar, who always bought three automobiles at a time. One day during his visit to London, Maharaja Jai Singh was walking in casual dress on Bond Street. He saw a Rolls Royce showroom and went inside to inquire about the price and features of their cars. The showroom salesmen thought he was a poor Indian. They insulted him and showed him the way out.
After this insult, Maharaja Jai Singh came back to his hotel room and asked his servants to call the showroom that the Maharaja of Alwar was interested in purchasing a few cars.
After a few hours the Maharaja, shown in the photo to the right, reached the Rolls Royce showroom again but in full royal regalia wearing his royal costume. The showroom had a red carpet on the floor to welcome the Maharaja and all the salesmen bowed before him with respect. The Maharaja purchased all the six cars that they had at the showroom at that time and paid the full amount with delivery costs.
After reaching India, Maharaja ordered municipal department to use all those six Rolls Royce cars for cleaning and transporting city's waste.
The world's number one cars, those of Rolls Royce, were being used for transportation of Alwar city's waste. The news spread all over the world and the reputation of Rolls Royce Company became a laughing stock.
Whenever someone used to boast in Europe or America that he owned a Rolls Royce, people used to laugh saying, "which one? The same that is used in India for carrying the waste of the city?" After the severe damage to reputation, sales of Rolls Royce cars dropped rapidly and the revenue of the company showed a decline.
The Rolls Royce company owners sent a telegram to the Maharaja in India offering apologies and requested him to stop transportation of waste in Rolls Royce cars. Not only this, they also offered six new cars to the Maharaja free of cost. When Maharaja Jai Singh observed that the Rolls Royce company had learnt a lesson, he stopped using those cars for carrying municipal waste.