The Directors View: The Apprentice – episode 3

Stuart Haining Business News, General 0 Comments

OK, so Chiles, Robert and Scott fell at the 1st hurdle, 17 to go, will it be the sword for the girls or further decimation of the gents in the Boardroom?

After a 5.45 wake-up and 20 minutes to get ready (can anyone really get ready that quick?) it’s off to the Royal Exchange for a fragrant challenge making and selling candles and associated smellies. It’s a venue I know well, in fact I once went up on the roof whilst it was being restored before it was opened to the public, but that’s a story for another day – suffice to say it’s a great venue to promote the idea of selling premium products at high margins – and that’s ALL Lord Sugar asked of the teams.

First was a bit of jumbling; Steven, Daniel and Felipe were moved to Tenacity, the girls team, and here Katie Bulmer-Cooke bravely stepped up as team leader for the well proven business rationale of “liking a nice smelling home.”

Team Summit, formerly the boys losing team inherited Lindsay, Roisin and Bianca, with Roisin (which is of course excellent with duck, or is that Hoisin?) also being excellent with numbers – so she sensibly volunteered as this was a task, like most business, where the numbers count.

First impressions were good from both team leaders, and in general they followed through well on this early promise marred really only by Katie on team Tenacity being a bit dictatorial and ignoring the research advice from Steven & Lauren. And Roisin Hogan was poor at checking up on how her team were doing with following the numbers and sticking to the all-important profit margins over at team Summit.

Participants who really contributed next to nothing, at least on screen as far as us viewers can tell, were Jemma Bird, Bianca Miller and Lindsay Booth. Nurun Ahmed was also pretty invisible after last week’s shock victory, a trend that’s repeating itself – sadly that’s not the way to get on in business, as you need to keep fighting.

Other than criticize others a bit, Sanjay Sood-Smith didn’t seem to do that much for his team, Solomon Akhtar was also a bit lightweight and once again Felipe had a quiet ride.

So who did contribute, or try too?

Once again Sarah Dales stuck her head above the parapet but nobody seems to take any notice of her, including the public who wouldn’t buy! Lauren Riley was quiet out-spoken about several things, had clashes with Sarah again and wasn’t impressed with the products. Katie really tried to rally her team well and despite in my view having an over-priced inferior product, she managed to pull it off, but only by a small win. Victory for team Tenacity.

Swimming Instructor Lindsay and mum Nurun didn’t deliver much and sadly were candidates for the boardroom later on, both deserved in my view.

Steven continued to argue and irritate, Mark Wright from Aus (and one of my personal favourites) continued to be a mine of wisdom, but its James however that shone through, mostly in an irritating way – he never stops talking and won’t take directions – but boy does he sell with enthusiasm! Sadly James team lost and he was also taken into the Boardroom, but luckily in my view survived. He might talk your ear off, and if the press are to be believed bite your ear off in real life, but I think James has the makings of a future leader – if you can sell, you can do anything in my book.

Daniel Lassman wasn’t bad at selling but had a repeat of the “lets argue in front of customers” which is so horrible to watch. *cringe*


So to recap…

Team Tenacity (girls again) won but by a margin of only £14 on profits of £1500…..but the real loss was that Team Summit also has no stock left so it was a bigger loss really and mostly down to discounting.

So who would I have fired?
In the team that lost it probably should have been Roisin for not following through checking up on numbers or setting clearer financial goals – it kind of suggests accountants might DO numbers for business but don’t really GET numbers IN business?……but overall she did OK
And what about James, he caused the loss by selling everything off…..but I think it would be overly harsh to sack someone who sold 35% of the stock, three times more than the average. Despite repeatedly comparing himself to young Sugar, which seems true, even though Lord Sugar disagrees in my view, he had the sense to let him live another week. I think this boy will learn.

The “firees” picked themselves…..Lindsay, who tried just a bit too hard early on by being aggressive showed her truer colours, she actually seemed a nice girl but out of her depth. And full marks she admitted it in the boardroom virtually falling on her sword, although she was fired before she quit. And then it was Nurun turn as despite working in a market, she didn’t rise to the challenge in Greenwich market selling on £92 worth of stock = the end.

And probably fairly too.

But for me, other than these two ladies I think I would have fired Lauren from the winning team – she seems to like causing conflict and doesn’t fill its place with anything helpful or constructive, a fatal mix in business. You either have to innovate or play like a team, dissent for the sake of it will kill a business.


My tips for the future remain James and Mark, now supported by Roisin. Can’t wait till week 4, online marketing or something similar!


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