Zeeshaan Shah is a property developer based in London and Dubai. He notably appeared in series 9 of the hit BBC show, The Apprentice. Zeeshaan’s current enterprise is www.oneinvestments.co.uk, a property investment firm based in London. Here, he exclusively reviews the latest episode…
The penultimate episode of The Apprentice saw our candidates prove their worth through an interview process. The interview episode has become a hallmark of the series and is much loved by fans of the show. As well as being an entertaining spectacle, this part of the show gives a much-needed insight into the candidates’ psyche.
The interviews this year differed from previous seasons by giving the candidates the chance to present their business plans. Usually cause for much laughter, it would be interesting to see if the plans this year managed to stand up to the test.
However, this time round the candidates will be interviewed by a group of business gurus. These include such luminaries as publisher Mike Soutar, media agency managing director Claudine Collins, interior designer Linda Plant and interview veteran Claude Littner.
Gary was the first-up and Mike Soutar attacked his CV. Mike’s line of questioning led Gary to redact his claim that he had managed 600 people while working at Tesco. He also really wilted during the hard questioning and it looked like his product is definitely a luxury. An immersive party planning app doesn’t really sound like something that people will need.
The next to be interviewed was Joseph Valente. Mike Soutar was incredibly quick to categorise Joseph’s adulation of Alan Sugar as pure ‘buttering up’. Although, Joseph did well at what was essentially an Alan Sugar pub quiz, I was pleased to see him call Joseph out on it. However, I think that Joseph put himself across quite well. He has a similar background to Alan Sugar and it is pleasing to see a self-starter do well in the competition.
Charleine was the third to be interviewed and while she received much praise, there were clearly some flaws with her business plan. Linda Plant was right to question it and there is no real reason why Charleine shouldn’t start off small. She only has one salon so it would be incredibly risky if she were to suddenly franchise her business. Charleine was quick to acknowledge this and accepted that her name wasn’t big enough. However, her determination might persuade the interviewers to give her a vote of confidence.
Richard’s business plan was cut to pieces by Claude. Richard had worked well throughout the series but it was time for his marketing waffle to be cut down with an axe. Claude Littner was that axe, he was straight off the bat when he remarked that Richard’s business plan sounded like a 1980s marketing handbook.
Last (but maybe least) was Vana, her business plan for a dating app looked to be seriously flawed. The app will go out of business within six months if it doesn’t generate any revenue. This is a massive black mark against Vana and regardless of how well she does in the interview process, her business plan will just not work.
I think that everybody was in trouble here. The only candidate who I thought was safe was Joseph. His business plan was fairly solid and his attitude clearly impressed the bosses. In the end I thought that it was a totally justified decision to let Gary go. He was incredibly inconsistent throughout the whole process and his business plan just didn’t hold water.
On the other hand, I was very disappointed to see Richard go. He had really shown himself to be a strong candidate throughout the whole process but ultimately it was his endless marketing waffle and ambiguous business plan that let him down.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to next wee’ks episode and I’ll be very excited to see who ends up winning. Richard and Vana are two very different characters and I think it could go either way.
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