The Apprentice 2016 – week 11
General exchanges between the candidates whilst waiting
Courtney says this is Claude’s favourite day of the year “Christmas for Claude”! “Five young idiots with a business plan he can rip apart”. Grainne says to speak for himself and corrects it to “we have one idiot, and four successful people”!
As Alana goes to see Claude, she takes some cake samples with her. Grainne says Alana has changed and grown in confidence from the girl she was at the start of the process. Jessica says she wishes she was one of the interviewers getting all the cake!
Frances says to the other girls it will be interesting if someone chips away at Alana, will she crumble or bring herself back up? “That’s the million dollar question” says Grainne.
Frances says “They know everything” on returning from her grilling from Mike!
Jessica says that Linda ripped her to shreds and she lost her dignity on the 42nd floor! Alana asks if taking cakes to her is a bad idea and Grainne says maybe she could have some for afternoon tea. Jessica says she doesn’t think Linda is an afternoon tea sort of woman!
“Isn’t this the toughest day ever” says Grainne and Courtney says “it’s one of the most difficult days of my life”
Grainne says it’s worse than childbirth, being “contractions x 20” ! “Really?” says a surprised Courtney!
When Frances is away, Grainne refers to ‘fireball Frances” and Alana jokingly says “Is it really wrong that I want her to come unstuck”!
“Claude defo hates me” says Frances after her interview with him! “That was brutal, literally tore me a new one” she says. Alana smiles slightly!
“I may have inflated a few things on my CV” says Courtney, after the interview with Mike! He says about making himself head designer when he was the only designer! “You’ve got to give yourself a good job title, haven’t you?” he says. Alana jokingly asks if he gave himself ‘Employee of the Month”! “Every month!” says Courtney!
Alana says “it’s like a verbal beating up”
Courtney says he thinks it would have been a meeting of minds with the interviewers saying “what you’ve done is really impressive”
“I am strong, I am invincible” says Jessica “I am woman” say Jessica and Grainne together quoting the lyric from the song, “I am tired” says Alana!
“I would never fear having an interview ever again’ says Grainne. “I could do with a large brandy”
The interviewers have their say
They discuss Courtney. Claudine says he wasn’t very engaging when she asked him to pitch himself to her. Lord Sugar says there should be a warning at the start of Courtney’s pitches “may cause drowsiness!”Linda says he’s only a small business having created 33 products in 3 years. Mike says that the novelty business is about catching a wave and backing him is backing his instinct to get the next big product before it happens. Claude says to look at what he’s achieved and not to write him off.
They discuss Jessica. Lord Sugar says he had had a quick look at her business plan and it seemed one of her business costs was paying the celebrities. Claude says it’s high risk because they may or may not wear it and if they do, and it does catch on, can she capture the market. He says you can lose money very quickly, and Linda says as Jessica did with her first business. Claudine says that there loads of young people who want to look like celebrities, and who follow them on social media, and that Jessica is incredibly engaging and warm, and she could persuade them to wear her dresses. Linda says Jessica’s business is called “Lust and Lies” and Karren asks “what?”. Lord Sugar says “it sounds less H&M and more like “S&M”!
They discuss Grainne and her two, no three, no four things she wanted to do! Mike said that by the end of their discussion he thought that Grainne had realised she’d bitten off more than she could chew! Claudine said that Grainne wanted to train staff in beauty products but was unable to name the USP of her lipstick. Lord Sugar says that maybe Grainne is shooting too high. Karren says it’s a shame because she’s been a very strong candidate and been logical and made decisions well and is a good team player. Claudine says her make-up was fantastic so is good at what she does.
They discuss Frances. Mike says it’s a children’s clothes discount retail business. Karren asks about what the investment will be used for, and Mike says to expand from her existing two stores, but had two dissolved stores. Linda says she’s buying ends of lines and bankrupt stock and making a nice profit, but questions how scalable the business is. Claude says she did used to have a partner who did all the accounts and boring stuff but it’s now all on Frances. Linda says her filing system is her handbag. Claude says over the past 11 weeks she has been very focussed and very determined but he was very disappointed when he read her business plan. Karren says she thinks Frances has been a great candidate but has surprised herself about how far she’s come in the process. She says if Frances could do her business plan now it would be so much better.
They discuss Alana. Lord Sugar says he is trying to see where she goes from making cakes and selling them to her local deli to selling them to someone in Glasgow, say. Mike says she plans to scale her business to delis but there is no independent data in how many delis exist in the UK, so can you estimate revenue when you don’t know how many customers you might have? Lord Sugar says unless she gets a great brand of cakes how are they going to know about it to buy off her, and distribution is needed too, plus concerns like sell by dates. Linda says it’s small now but has huge profiit margins and the product is delicious. Claude says the business has made money and had said to her about reinvesting in the business saying why should Lord Sugar have confidence if she hadn’t.
The candidates return to the boardroom
Lord Sugar says that he wants to make clear that there is nothing wrong with businesses which employ one or two people and they are the backbone of the British economy, but he is interested in how the business he is going to invest in will become a big business.
He starts with Jessica saying her business “Lust and Lies” sounds like a Jilly Cooper novel, but her biggest cost of £10000 a month is to spend on her “celebrities” and isn’t that a risk? She says it’s a business model that works and she used it in her previous business. Karren interjects saying her previous business didn’t work though. Jessica says that the returns were high but will use videos to show customers how the products look. Lord Sugar says it doesn’t instil confidence in him. She says she’s open to adapting it if something could be done better, but says using social media and celebrity endorsement she can and will sell them items.
Lord Sugar says he is confused about Grainne’s dea as it seems to be four or five dfferent things. Grainne says she did seem to be throwing all her eggs into one basket and should be homing in on the make-up, application, training, academy! Lord Sugar asks what make-up and she says her own brand. He asks if she going to compete with the likes of MAC and she says everyone has to start somewhere and will do the teaching. He says people will pay her to train them and she says it will be a worldwide certificate for make-up artists. Lord Sugar asks how much will be it and she says £7000 for per course. Karren asks if Grainne is qualified to teach that course and Grainne says she is half qualified and in the middle of it! She says she is not certified yet and Lord Sugar says he might need certifying to invest in it! Grainne says she wants to get a make-up brand and get it out there, not just playing it safe. Lord Sugar says he is going to be blunt, but he can’t see this and it has been nice to be associated with her, but with regret, fires her. She wishes the others good luck.
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