The Directors View: The Apprentice – episode 10

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The final 7 embark upon yet another cooking challenge. The candidates had to invent a luxury pudding product and then pitch to retailers – the best seller wins! Simple? Maybe. But a bit of a regurgitation on the challenge front.
How about an idea from us Lord Sugar? Take on an Apprentice to invent exciting new challenges on a The Apprentice!

For this challenge Lord Sugar mixes up the team ingredients and switches Sanjay and Daniel, he then selects Roisin, who wants to launch a ready meals business, as Team Summit leader, and for the team leader over on Tenacity, it’s Katie; who wants to launch a restaurant with Sugar’s money.

Katie decides a twist on something popular with bold branding will win through, so they create a product with bland branding, a product that is a little bit, how do we say this politely – boring, but with overly expensive ingredients picked by Katie, an aspiring restauranteur who obviously doesn’t want to make a profit!

But, it is not a winning strategy for team tenacity, probably not aided by being one man or woman down, as they were the team with one less candidate and also Katie seemed to tee off the chef helping her. Never good.

But before we reveal the result, what about Roisin’s luckier crew? Lucky deserts might have been a better name as with Roisin’s poor management decisions picking the wrong folks for each task, they were lucky winners.

Soloman was forceful getting onto the branding team, and buddying with the team leader, so was safe whatever happened despite alienating Bianca by getting her shunted onto manufacture. But Soloman did a great branding job, and Bianca had a good palette, so the product was good too.

So despite poor pitches necessitating an interruption from Daniel (whom the retailers liked), team Summit won with a better product – securing imaginary orders of over 25,000 units. Not bad at all and lucky for Roisin who has past her sell by date in my book.

So back to Tenacity. Mark fluffed the Tesco pitch, the packaging didn’t wow Waitrose, but ultimately the product recipe let her down – so Katie had to go.

In the boardroom, Sanjay was aggressive from the off and in our book was hot favourite to be fired if only due to double dealing. He made a spirited defence of his internet business idea, but Mark put nails in that coffin as he works on digital – and Sugar backed that view with Mark the sole survivor.

Katie made a dignified exit and was as good at the end as when she joined – so we think Sugar sacked a good one, not for the first time. Sanjay deserved to go due to playing politics – his online idea might have had legs, who knows?

So the final five are Roisin, Bianca, lucky Daniel, who actually performed with maturity this week, Soloman, who showed hidden steel this time, and favourite Mark.

Key lessons this week – make sure you have the skills for your new idea (I’ve tried it without and nearly lost my shirt so Sugar is not wrong there ) and avoid politics and back- biting, unless you have no scruples or want to work in politics…..not sure if that applies to Lords too!

About Stuart Haining

I have a strong passion for online strategy and disruptive technologies – but is pragmatic too, having been working with this online malarkey for 20+ years!

I’m Seriously Helpful but not always serious!

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