How many of you have noticed a Maharajah-like figure in Air India ads? Oh wait, let me describe a little more for you.  

A round face, an outsized moustache, a striped Indian turban, and a long sharp nose personality like Maharajah. I hope you remember him now. 

But, did you know the story behind this creation & who was the inspiration? Keep reading to know the whole story.


Back in 1938, Tata Airlines, India’s first commercial airline service, began to fly. The same year, the marketing wizard Bobby Kooka joined the team too. 

Soon after that, Sorab Kaikushroo (Bobby) Kooka came up with the idea of Maharajah to re-christen Air India. It also became the face of many Air India campaigns. 

The better India
Times Of India

Here’s how Bobby Kooka described Maharajah.  

“We call him a Maharajah for want of a better description. But his blood isn’t blue. He might look like royalty, but he isn’t royal.” 

Not many know it but, Maharaja’s famous moustache was inspired by Syed Wajid Ali, an industrialist from Pakistan.

Wajid Sahib had a great personality & lifestyle that also inspired Bobby.

Bobby worked with Umesh Rao of J. Walter Thompson to create this symbol of Air India. After his appearance in 1946, Maharajah was soon all over the world. 

With Air India back home to Tata Group, we hope to see the brand mascot Maharajah back to welcome us.