And to entertain us further he makes Noorul Choudhury Ignite’s project manager and Paula Jones project manager for Empire.
Noorul, because Sir Alan notes that he’s been a bit quiet.
The Product Design Task
The objective is to make more profit than the other team by selling products to the passers-by in London, somewhere.
The other objectives they need to bear in mind are:
- Making sure they keep the costs down, as usual!
- Designing and making a good product
- Branding the product so it’s attractive
- Selling out by the deadline!
So how do The Apprentices manage?
Empire Go for Seaweed
Unfortunately Paula and Yasmina get carried away and choose the sandalwood oil which costs £1,200 per kilo. If they’d used Cedarwood it only costs about £26 per kilo and would have been a better choice.
So Yasmina and Paula decide to use 454 grams of Sandalwood after which Nick kindly tells them they spent over £700 on fragrances. That means that they needed to sell a lot of product before they made any profit.
Half of Empire goes to Portobello Market and the other to Bond Street tube station. A tube station is a massive mistake because people are always rushing somewhere and aren’t going to take any interest in soap..
Sales at Portobello Market go well and then eventually they find someone who is willing to buy the remaining bottles for £400.
Ignite’s Project Manager Demonstrates Inability To Manage
After all the talking Noorul has done it was immediately clear that he had no commercial sense and lacked any ability to lead a team.
After some extended consideration and much indecision Noorul eventually decides to use honey as the natural component.
When the team he sent to get the honey asks how much they should get he asks the remaining team whether they are going with honey! Give me strength!
Ignite Branding Is Pathetic
Kimberly comes up with a brand, “Honey I’m Home” which apart from having no meaning doesn’t even describe the range (of two products).
Margaret points out that Noorul was also a poor project manager. You can say that again, indecision and uncertainty was written all over his face.
Carnaby Street High Fashion Soap
Noorul hasn’t a clue how to sell and just keeps talking and then finishes by asking whether people would be “interested.” He also asks wether he can “pinch” someones time.
Noorul, like a complete idiot, pulls his team out of Carnaby street, because he isn’t selling. And then he gets lost! And ends up in Bond Street where nobody sells anything, for the same reason
The other half of the team are selling at Camden Lock. They sell fairly well and towards the end they have over 100 bottles left and ring Noorul to suggest they price them to sell.
Indecision strikes and Noorul decides to go to Camden Lock with his team – yet more lost selling time! When he arrives they start to sell at ridiculously low prices.
Back To The Boardroom
And the orders for the teams were as follows:
So Empire lose yet again. And yet Empire should have really won, except they made a complete pig’s ear of the costs. If they had used cedarwood oil instead they would have made a profit of £598 and won the task. And of course Ben says that the costs are nothing to do with him!
Ben Threatens To Shred Paula In The Boardroom
Ben is yet again in the boardroom and deservedly so because he edged out of any involvement with design or with the costings despite being asked to check them by Paula.
When Ben’s in the boardroom he tries to take credit or the nice marketing. Kate soon puts him right by saying that the marketing was all Paula.
Paula appears to have been a reasonable project manager and had asked Ben and Yasmina to check the costs. Ben threatens to rip her to shreds if she drags him into the boardroom.
Of course Ben, rightly, is dragged into the boardroom. The costs are discussed and blame spread liberally. Ben claims a scholarship to Sandhurst shows he’s a leader of men!
finally Sir Alan has enough and fires Paula for not keeping a tight rein on the costs. Has the message got through? Costs need controlling!
I think Ben needs to go as soon as possible as he doesn’t help the team win, instead he makes sure he isn’t in the firing line.
And more to the point Noorul needs to be given the project management again so Sir Alan can fire him when his team loses.
Was The Apprentice Firing Fair?
Paula was the project manager and should have double checked the costs with Yasmina and Ben, as they are numbers people. Ultimately it was her fault and much though I would have like Ben to go Sir Alan was right to fire her.
Who’s The Favourite To Win At The Moment?
Kate Walsh sold well during the task and was fair about Paula doing all the marketing.
Again Phillip with his sense of urgency is looking useful too.