'I was robbed!' The only way is the door for bitter Azhar as he is sent home after failing Essex task on The Apprentice
23:17 GMT, 2 May 2012
Azhar Siddique was a very sore loser after being booted from The Apprentice this week.
The managing director of a catering and refrigeration company from Manchester said he felt 'robbed' and that Lord Alan Sugar was 'wrong to fire him.'
Azhar was part of the Pheonix team, led by Jade Nash, who lost out in an Essex-based task to sell wholesale products at the local market and shopping centres for a profit.
'I was robbed': Azhar Siddique was a very sore loser after being booted from The Apprentice this week following the Pheonix team's loss in an Essex-based task to sell warehouse products for a profit
Speaking after his firing, the 33-year-old ranted: 'I feel robbed, I was wrong to be
fired… I think there are people in this process who are playing a
game, playing a strategic game.
'I think they wanted me out of the
process because they saw me as a threat, they saw me as one of the
stronger candidates, and obviously they’ve got their way.'
For this week's task, designed to test how the candidates 'smell what sells', Lord Sugar gave both teams 150 to buy whatever products they wished from an Essex warehouse. They then had to choose a local market and shopping centre to sell their products at before both moving to Lakeside shopping centre to try their luck with late-night shoppers.
'You weren't in control': Jade Nash, who was the Pheonix team Project Manager, clashed with Azhar throughout the task
The teams were to replenish their stock throughout the day, keeping in mind what was selling best and re-investing their money accordingly.
'This task is all about smelling what’s
selling,' Sugar told them. 'Now, you’ll find out that some of the stuff you’ve purchased
might not shift, OK that’s business. They might be a slow mover but
you’ve got to recognise what the fast movers are.'
Lord Sugar hinted non-too-subtly that Jade should put herself forward as project manager, given that she has not done it yet. Nick Holzherr was voted PM for the Sterling team.
Unfair: Lord Sugar criticised Jade's decision to bring Tom back into the boardroom despite him being a great asset to the team during the task
At the warehouse, Nick's team organised themselves quickly, while Jade's spent far too long deliberating over location and left themselves little time to asses the products.
'Sterling have performed briskly and efficiently,' said Nick Hewer. 'They are showing promise.'
'Jade’s in a bit of a mess,' Karren observed. 'At the moment it’s a bit of a bun fight with lots of opinions. They’ve had to rush their product selection because they are running out of time.'
Bright and early the next morning, Sterling set up stalls inside Romford shopping centre, and quickly sell out of fake tan.
Warehouse task: the teams were given 150 to buy products to sell at Essex markets and shopping centres for a profit
'You're out of your depth': Jade and Azhar had several run-ins over the phone when Jade ignored Azhar's attempts to discuss strategy
Salesmen Ricky and Stephen are disappointed when their sales pitch scripts don't get used as their market stall is rained out. Nick decides to send them back to warehouse to replenish the quickly selling stock instead. He tells them not to bother bringing their leftover stock to their shopping centre stall – a decision later criticised by Lord Sugar.
Meanwhile Jade's team are frustrated by her strategy of buying equal amounts of the different products, rather than taking their advice to purchase the majority of bug toys, which were selling like hot cakes.
'A key part to this task is to smell what sells and they haven’t done that. I hope it doesn’t end up costing them,' said Karren.
'She is not smelling what's selling': Karren observed that Jade was not paying attention to which products were selling best when replenishing their stock
Jade and Azhar also clash over strategy several times. He says that he thinks more of the stock should be taken to the location further from warehouse, as it will take longer to replenish that stock.
Ricky and Stephen are frustrated when Nick sends them back to the warehouse on a second trip shortly after they return from being stuck in traffic.
'I am very frustrated right now because I’m a bit of a spare part,' said Ricky. 'Stephen and I are the best sales people on this team and we’re not selling.
'Essex love their fake tan': Sterling team quickly sold out of fake tan products
'I feel like I could be selling a lot of product right now, but instead I have to go back to the wholesaler and it has wound me up.'
Both teams moved over to Lakeside shopping centre for late night shopping. While Nick instructed his team to keep the prices up, while Jade slashed prices on all their products.
Karren observed: 'Jade is very focused on selling products, and while that's important she has to be careful about making a profit.'
'I feel like a spare part': Ricky and Stephen were disappointed that their sales skills went to waste in the rained-out market
After the day's trading, Phoenix had 422.61 cash in hand and remaining stock valued at 415.60, resulting in total assets of 838.21 Sterling had 681.30 cash in hand and remaining stock valued at 273.90, meaning total assets of 955.20.
Back in the boardroom, Lord Sugar explains that this task is one of his favourites because it replicates how he started off in business.
'That's a message to Britain,' Sugar tells the Sterling team after the results are revealed. 'I gave you a van and 150 and you saw that in the space of the
day you can turn that into nearly a 1000.'
Frustrated: They were annoyed to be sent back to the warehouse on a second trip after spending most of the day stuck in traffic
Lord Sugar criticised the decision for Ricky and Stephen to not drop their remaining stock off with the team during their run to the warehouse, during which time the team were left with no stock.
He tells Pheonix that they should have taken more products to the market, rather than splitting their stock 50/50 between the two selling locations. Azhar informs Lord Sugar that he had suggested this but Jade retorts, 'I can’t remember that happening.'
She and Adam then inform Lord Sugar that Azhar wasted a lot of time talking about strategy.
'Shameful decision': Nick was criticised for spending hours with no stock to sell when he could have had Ricky and Stephen bring their leftover stock back to the shopping centre
Next, Lord Sugar asks why, when they
replenished their stock, there was no strategy over selecting the
products that had been selling the best, stating 'you started off with
seven products, you ended up still with all seven products, which leads
me to believe that you didn’t learn what was selling.'
Jade decides to bring Azhar and Tom back into the boardroom – another decision attacked by Lord Sugar. 'Tom
– Look it’s quite clear you shouldn’t be sitting here in the boardroom
today so I will say that you’re going to go back to the house and I will
see you on the next task,' he said.
– I think that you show a lot of enthusiasm but I get the feeling on
this particular task that you could have controlled it a little bit
Final push: Nick's team managed a higher profit after Jade slashed prices on her products at the end of the day
'I think the mere fact that you brought Tom back in here when, in fact, he was a great help to you on this occasion, is a difficult thing for me to accept, to be perfectly honest with you.
'Azhar – people are saying about you that you’re just standing around, moaning all the time that this is going wrong, that is going wrong, you don’t seem to come forward with any solution to what should be done.
'Jade – as the Project Manager, you were responsible really for the whole strategy of this task, margins, profits and location, and for that reason I’m struggling. But I do admire your enthusiasm, and on that basis, I’m going to have to say that Azhar – You’re Fired.'