Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Apprentice UK : Sandalwood or Cedarwood, the difference is in the price....

...and its huge, at least that was what Paula Jones found out today.

It is our weekly dose of The Apprentice and this week's episode should be probably re-titled 'The Great Escape of Noorul Choudhury'. To describe Noorul as useless would be an affront to genuinely useless Project Managers the world over. He gave uselessness a bad name and it is going to take a while for it to recover.

Noorul Choudhury

The task was to create beauty products from natural ingredients and once again Sir Alan Sugar tinkered with the teams and Noorul emerged as Project Manager for Team Ignite on the basis of his Chemistry background while Empire team chose Paula Jones.

My first thought when I saw this is where did Paula come from?, I hadn't noticed her before, has she been with us all along? You got to give it to her, so far she had executed the low profile strategy perfectly.

Ignite chose a honey based range tagged 'Honey I am home' and away they went with Noorul deciding nothing, selling nothing, coordinating nothing, but simply being a witness as the other team members busied themselves around him.

Paula by contrasts was deeply involved with her team, probably too involved. In a crucial moment that decided her fate she and team mate Yasmina Siadatan got in a spot of confusion over whether they would use Sandalwood or Cedarwood as the essential oil in their products.

To the uninitiated not a big deal, but in the world of essential oil and fragrances Sandalwood is king costing 500 times as much as Cedarwood! Guess what they choose, yes they went for Sandalwood. Unfortunately theydidn't pick up on the cost implications, although Paula had asked Yasmine and the extremely obnoxious Ben Clarke to watch over the costs

At this point the rest of the script writes itself. Despite a high quality product and a good team effort at selling, the high cost base wiped out Empire's profits. To add insult to injury, Noorul's failure to make any decisions meant he failed to make even bad decisions, and slipped through almost by default to win.

As it was all down to costs, Paula dragged Ben and Yasmina into the Boardroom. Ben dug into his seemingly unending stash of obnoxiousness as he went to battle in the boardroom with Paula firmly in his firing line.

Yasmina who apparently was Paula's good friend on the show also had no hesitation about stabbing her in the back. Poor Paula, who I thought was excellent (bar the Sandalwood \ Cedar wood fiasco) lacked the the ruthlessness to really go after either of the other two and ended up getting fired.

Paula Jones

Stand outs this week

Ben Clarke: Small minded, conceited and obnoxious. A walking advert for why people think extremely short men are driven by a powerful need to overcompensate.

Noorul Choudhury: Exhibit A: Initial Strategy Low Profile and cruise through the early rounds. Get to the middle round and show what you are made of. Answer: Nothing. One of the poorest candidates I have seen, will be out very soon.

Paula Jones: Exhibit B: Initial Strategy Low Profile and cruise through the early rounds. Get to the middle round and show what you are made of. Answer: you could have been a prime candidate to win it all but you forgot one thing, if you can't back stab, bitch and crawl into the gutter with the best of them, you are just another name to add to the list of those who didn't, and Paula you couldn't.

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