The Apprentice: Fudged failure and sweet success

the apprentice

Once again, the candidates were franticly rushed to get ready for the upcoming task ahead.

Gathered at the beautiful Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, the candidates were surrounded by historic ambiance as Lord Sugar explained the relevance of the setting, being a prime location to see the iconic musical, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He then revealed that the task for this week was for candidates to create their own range of confectionary and to sell it to traders and the general public in one of Britain’s most-loved seaside locations, Brighton.

Lord Sugar mixed up the teams and elected Alana for Titans’ project manager and Oliver for Nebula’s – both of whom didn’t look too confident in his decision!

As the teams’ work went underway, it was clear that Alana was strong in supplying innovative and unique ideas to her team, in contrast to Oliver, who seemed to be, let’s say, traditional? He went for the simple options and quite blatantly didn’t know where to start in regards to interacting with his team as a project manager.

After the teams picked the sweets they were going to produce, it was quickly concluded that rock maybe wasn’t Nebula’s best option to go for in regards to its difficult production process. Although Oliver can apparently make sausages, it was proved that making rock was really not his forte, after countless occasions where his team members had to prompt him to keep an eye on his produce.

Titans were to produce blue and white confectionary ‘pillows’, 190 packets in fact, as the sales team narrowly secured a deal with Brighton Football Club. During the pitch to the club, Sofiane was eager to boost up value for their products even after the customers stated their firm budget of £300. Fair enough, some negotiation can be achieved, but when the customer is this certain that their budget isn’t moving, it’s a real risk to persevere as you can loose the sale altogether – which I’m surprised wasn’t the end result.

Mukai’s sales team from Nebula, approached a winery in hope to accept an offer for their confectionary. Sealing the deal to receive £75 – yes, £75.

After the brand identities were created – Nebula’s ‘Suck it and Sea’ and Titans’ ‘Guilties’, the sweets were ready to flog!

The pressure began to get slightly too much for Alana who was feeling stressed over the fact she had lots of confectionary to produce in a restricted amount of time and knowing one of the machines in her kitchen was broken. After figuring out alternative ways to produce the order of sweets for Brighton FC, the team ploughed through as quickly as they could.

When Sofiane was explaining to the customer that they had the ideas of creating ‘half footballs’, the customer wasn’t 100 per cent convinced. Even after Sofiane demonstrated what he meant with the sweets, it was still a bit of a stretch as the customer stated that it ‘wasn’t what was agreed’. Despite this, they still took the batch and the order was officially complete.

As the teams sold by the seaside, Alana showed her managerial skills as she discussed a pricing strategy with her team. Not so sensibly, Oliver simply didn’t really have one.

As Oliver tried to draw attention to his products by riding the bike around like a bit of a fool, the other teams were beginning to pick up on their sales.

Just when I thought that Karthik was actually bearable to watch this week, he demonstrated his overly-confident side as he stated, “I’m the best salesman in the universe”.

Task over and back to the boardroom.

Tensions are not anywhere near as bad as the previous week however, it’s clear that Paul has a slightly moody streak in him where he shows his frustration if something goes wrong. However, I think Paul is one to watch – he’s clearly very smart and is very observant in situations.

Close one to call but Nebula are the failures of the task and as Titans pick up a sweet victory, they go off to learn free running whilst Oliver brings Paul and Mukai back to the boardroom.

Throughout the whole task, Oliver did nothing but depend on other people to make decisions for him, he had no real plan and team members didn’t feel secure in his management – you simply can’t help but laugh at him at times. This was definitely something Lord Sugar saw through and advised, “your best hope for £250,000 is to buy a scratch card” as he fired him.

Another week goes on.