Monday, 18 July 2011

The Apprentice UK Season 7 Final

Well Tom is hired, after pitching his backpain-alleviating chair. Prior to this episode I was undecided but I couldn't see Jim or Helen winning but then I questioned myself on why Lord Sugar would want to work with Tom or Susan. It was only by the boardroom where Tom became the clear winner to me because he'd simply been given the least negative feedback. In all honesty whatever Tom had decided to pitch to Lord Sugar didn't matter because it sounds like they aren't going to work with it for a while.

For this matter everybody's proposal was flawed in some sort of way it was just about who Lord Sugar thought he could work with. Here's my take on the four proposals.

Helen's proposal was flawed to say the least. Her business proposal sounded like a glorified PA or what the show called a concierge service. I don't know how many similar type of companies there are but I find the business concept highly flawed in that you ask someone to do things for you. But the biggest flaw in her proposal was that she was starting this from scratch, to start up a company like this you need connections, besides connections with Greggs Bakery I don't see where Helen can head with this. In a desperate attempt to curry favour with Lord Sugar she hinted on another plan of a homemade cakes bakery shop... lets just say Helen had lost the plot.

Overall Helen is a great employee but I'm not 100% sure she'll be a great employer.

Susan worked too her strengths in pitching her line of beauty products but I was slightly disappointed on the creativity aspect. Essentially Susan's business is the most conventional out of the four, there's a clear market and structure to the business but the problem with her plan is the competition she faces and that to make it big £250,000 is clearly not enough for where Lord Sugar wants the product to go. Susan is an entrepreneur but her assumptions that her product will make it big in the first year after having sold her products on market stalls, with success, is a bit naive. But on the bright side Lord Sugar has hinted on a possible collaboration between the two as he sets his sights on battling with the likes of L'Oreal, Clinique, Lancome etc etc.

Jim's idea was interesting but where was the business? More confusingly I only understood it was an e-learning service, what was it actually about? The simple thing is Jim's idea wasn't really an entrepreneurial pursuit and therefore not what Lord Sugar wanted. Lord Sugar also is a "product" orientated person so Jim's idea was never going to make it for him especially when Jim said he initially thought the company would not be for profit.

So our winner, what was his plan? A backpain alleviating chair plus service. To be honest the service sounded awfully odd and then when he talked about the chair being able to monitor your back stress everything started to get a bit confusing. I don't think the chair idea had anything to do with his win, what allowed Tom to win was his ability and personality and the fact that he had a successful product already sealed the deal for Lord Sugar especially after he knew how Tom got the Walmart contract. Tom's chair idea would take years to establish, does Lord Sugar want to be associated with something like that? I said that I knew he would win once they were in the boardroom but his business plan did alienate me when they were being interviewed.

In general I was very happy with this series as it brought us a lot of classic Apprentice moments and the final result was ok. Junior Apprentice will be on later in the year supposedly but I'm slightly worried they might burn out if there's two Apprentices in one year. Anyway it was a great series and I hope you enjoyed my weekly commentary.

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