Departing Apprentice candidate Sajan Shah admitted the blunder that resulted in Graphene filming a car advert in a Norman Village left him feeling as lost as a teenage boy.
The 24-year-old was tasked with directing Graphene’s TV advert and told loaded he was “gutted” to be the one given the boot this time around. “It’s really disappoint to leave now. Though hopefully views see me as the first shock firing of the series so far.”
It’s hard not to agree with Saj, who has proven popular with viewers since the start of the series thanks to his honest, down-to-earth, demeanour. On this particular task though, Saj was left hamstrung by the decision to set their advert in a Norman Village.
Watching the episode, it was clear project manager James and teammate Elizabeth both mistook the description of the setting for what they imagined to be a quaint English village. It was a decision that Saj admits left the team facing an uphill task.
“It genuinely felt like I hit puberty again – I had no idea what to do. We were just speechless. Elizabeth had an idea of what to do but James seemed lost. I just had to do the best with what we were given.”
Despite the disastrous move, Saj stands by the work produced. “If you look at some of the biggest brands out there, they all have these weird adverts that stand out so I don’t we should have lost the task on the basis of that advert. It’s just one of those things that you just have to take on the chin.”
Even now, he struggles to come up with an idea that would have worked in the setting. “It could have been a dream in the village where she wakes up to reality in the car but, then again, hindsight is a wonderful thing.”
One thing Saj is certain of is that the name cooked up by the other sub-team, Expando, was a stinker. “It’s probably one of the worst names in the history of the show. It just made no sense. But It was difficult as the two sub-teams had no idea what the others were doing and that was down to James.
“James was the one who was responsible for the failure of this task. There was a fundamental lack of management on this task. It felt like he delegated roles just so he could escape taking any responsibility.”
Sajan only had good things to say about the other major force behind the project though. “Elizabeth is a contender for The Apprentice. She’s different but she’s also a great businessperson. She’s powerful and dominant and a great example to women in business.”
That said, Michaela Wain is his pick to win it. “She’s a great entrepreneur and a bit like me in that she’s come from a hard upbringing and proven herself to be a successful person. She’s a character in business but someone who can also motivate people.”
Sajan has been blown away by the positive response he’s received since being on the show and has no regrets from his time on The Apprentice. “I didn’t think I was that popular until the last few weeks. Everywhere I went people told me they supported me. I’m not this big, dominant character and I think that went down well with the public.
“To leave the process is disappointing and might be the first big shock firing of the series, but it was a great task to leave on.” He’s now focusing on helping graduates get into work through his recruitment business and is exploring his idea for a business with Lord Sugar. He may even pop up on TV in the future too.
The Apprentice continues next Wednesday at 9pm.