Rolls Royce Car company's poor treatment and Hyderabad Nizam

Nizam of Hyderabad. his R R for Transporting Garbage

Nizam of Hyderabad,India. his Rolls Royce,

To day  car  freaks world over know  Rolls Royce  car is  the most expensive  one  and it  is  a  great  honor  to  own  it  because it  is  considered a  status symbol  among the rich people. The  English  car  company  and  its  specially  designed car  with  superior  quality  car  parts, no doubt, command respect  even to day. Quality control on custom made cars with limited editions  has  been  consistently  high  since it began operations centuries ago.  Even  in the  30's and 40's, the  most  famous  Rolls  Royce car  commanded  respect  among  the rich  and  was synonyms  with the royal families,  rich business people, Hollywood studio  moguls and  movie stars. The same trend continues to day and  in modern  India, a lot of rich  people own them - as a sort of status symbol, some thing to talk about their affluence and how they spend money lavishly.
Drawing cartoons

When  India  was  under  the  yoke of  British rule, there were  numerous  fabulously  rich  Indian  rulers  both  Hindu  Maharajahs and Muslim  Nabobs. Famous  among  the  filthy  rich Indian rulers  were  the Nawob of Ouad, the Hyderabad Nizam, Maharajah of Baroda, Indore, Patiala, Jaipur, Mysore, et al. Many of them  had  a  fleet  of expensive cars for many purposes, particularly,  to  take  care  of  foreign  dignitaries, English higher ups who would call on them frequently, etc

Royal family of Nizam of

Among  the affluent  Indian rulers, the  legendary  Hyderabad  Nizam  was  not only very  rich but also  was fond  of  flashy  cars, expensive antiques, old paintings, etc. Once, on  a  trip  to  London  in  the  pre - independence days, while  going  for  a  stroll, Hyderabad  Nizam  Mukarram  Jah  saw  a  Rolls Royce showroom. In a jiffy, he decided to make  an inquiry about the latest models. The sales men, mistaking the unassuming, ordinarily dressed Nizam, for  a  poor  soul  from  India, asked  him  to  get  out  of  the showroom. Literally  it  was a  sort  of  throwing  him  out  of  the showroom - an inexcusable insult. The magnanimous  Nizam, without losing either his temper or making any fuss, upon returning to the hotel room where he was staying, immediately had his aide call up the dealer about his proposed visit. The dealer gave him a  red-carpet  welcome  and, now, the Nizam wearing his  royal dress, made  immediate  payment  and  bought six cars to be shipped to India.

7 - Christmas cartoons

6th Nizam's Napiers  at Chowmahalla ...

The moot question on the mind of the people  is : What had he got to  do with the expensive cars?  No sooner had he reached India than the ruler ordered  the municipal  sanitary department  of Hyderabad to use all those six Rolls Royce cars  for  cleaning  and  transporting  city’s waste  from the street. He further instructed his employees the rolls with the cleaning broom  must be visible to people living in many parts of the city.


The sensational news of  World’s number one Rolls Royce cars were being used for transportation of city’s waste, had spread  all  over  the  world like summer bush fire. The media picked up the sensational scoop and flashed it  with  pictures  of  the  famous  cars  doing  the  cleaning  job  in  Hyderabad.  Now  world  over  the  people  came  to know one rich Indian ruler  was casually using a fleet of  several  Rolls Royce  cars for cleaning his city streets.  What  prompted  the  ruler  to  convert  the  cars  to  this lowly job? The famous Rolls car, now,  had become  an  object  of  criticism and  ridicule.  This deeply affected the status conscious  rich Europeans and Americans  who  owned this car. That, the most expensive  English  cars  were  being conveniently and casually  used by the Indian ruler for street cleaning  purposes,  shocked  them  very  much and they were at their wit's end end to understand why the Indian rule was not using the other vehicles like garbage trucks . The famous car company's name took a beating and their sales nosedived in a short span  of  time  despite their  good  sales  pitch.

Having  found  no  other  remedy  and  to  make  amends  for  their  costly mistakes  they  had  committed  during  the Indian  ruler's casual visit to the showroom  in  London, the  car  company  sent a Telegram  to  the  Nizam in India,  apologizing  what  had  happened  to him  at  the  show room in London several  months  back  and  requested  His Highness  to  stop transportation  of  waste  in expensive Rolls Royce  cars  made  by them. On  top of it, the famous company  offered  all  the  six  new  cars  to Nawob free  of  cost  to  compensate  for their disrespect committed  unwittingly !!

Though  the  authenticity  of  the  above incident   and  also  the  images  of  Rolls  Royce  cars  published  in  the  news  papers  are  debatable, one important  point  that  drives  home  is  the  fact  that  the  most  of  the royal  rulers  of  India in  the  past  were  really  rich  and  led  such  a  luxurious  life  nobody could  ever  dream of, in spite of  the  fact  their  high  level of  affluence  had  been  eroded  gradually due to  cheating  and  double  crossing  by  the  highly corrupt  East  India  company's  senior officials  and  later  by  the  British Crown. Please read

Moral lessons for the companies:
While running a business, or  companies,  irrespective  of  their  social  status, name and performance, one  should treat all  customers equally. In the realm of  business, the rich and  the famous  and  ordinary people  are alike. They are just customers. Period. People in marketing  can  not  judge  people  based  on  their  appearance, the way they dress, etc.

As Gandhiji  said,  ''Customer  is  a  customer  and he is  the most  important  person  on  your premises.''

Sales  people  have  extra  responsibility to get the sales going. Poor  treatment  of  customers, bad  attitude, poor response and lack of  good  public  relationship, etc  will affect  the  overall  performance  of  the company,  and it  will  fall  out midway  in  competition. Lousy  customer service means you are losing  out  to  your  competitors.   

The  intelligent  ruler of  Hyderabad  Mukarram Jah, befitting  to his royal and regal status,  stoically  swallowed  the  bad  treatment  meted  out  to him  at  the  London  show  room  of  Rolls  Royce  company, and in  one smart  move  drew  the attention  of  the  world  and  focused the spotlight  on  the  most  prestigious  car  company's folly and discriminatory  treatment of the customers. Without showing   his arrogance and  his  vast  money power, he  made  the  status  conscious  Rolls  Royce  company  knell before him - not to  insult  and  intimidate  the company,  but  to point out the  English company's ignorance, stupidity and racial  disparity. It is  not at all  an  act  of  slight.

As for Rolls  Royce company that only  patronized   the  richest  among   the  rich, the lesson  taught  by  the  Indian  ruler  was  more  than enough:

 '' A customer is a  customer, be  it  Maharajah, Nizam, Duke or dude from Iowa or  even  a  transvestite  from  the  US''.