Karren Brady accused him of âhuffing and puffingâ? his way through the competition. Jade branded him âseriously annoyingâ?. But despite a very public bashing, OTB can report that Azhar Siddiqueâs ego is operating at full capacity once again.
âI actually outperformed everybody in my sub-team and I outperformed Jade as well. In terms of performance and merit on the day, I was one of the best performersâ?, Siddique rattles off in a dialect commonly known as âbustling business patterâ. âI think a lot of people saw me as a threat; I was by far the most credible candidate in the process.”
This weekâs The Apprentice task saw Sugar on home turf, spouting the virtues of starting a business from scratch with a van, 150 quid and kind of determination that having ânuffinkâ? provides you with. The teams were sourcing cheap tat from a warehouse in Essex, only to go on to flog said cheap tat elsewhere for horrendous prices akin only to the cost of Those Meatballs in week six.
The task was all about âsmelling whatâs sellingâ? and it doesnât take Azhar long to move on to his theories about âstrategehâ?, and team Phoenixâs lack thereof. âWe didnât have any strategy in place and that is the reason why we lost. No matter how many times I tried to reiterate that to Jade it didnât seem to work. âStrategyâ as a word doesnât seem to come into Jadeâs vocabulary, so maybe thatâs the reason why she was getting confused.â?
But Jadeâs limited vocabulary is not the only thing about his fellow contestants which has been getting on Azharâs wick. The young entrepreneur – the latest casualty to be carted off from The Apprentice battlefield – has been getting increasingly annoyed by the lack of integrity displayed by some of the more Machiavellian candidates…
âAs a person with integrity, one of the worst things about going into the boardroom is when people are dishonest. Last week Stephen was very dishonest in the boardroomâ?, a fact which also peeved last weekâs firee Katie, who has already vented her anger at his manipulative ways. âAnd this week Jade literally said she hadnât heard anything from me in terms of solutions, when she clearly had. Business is very black and white to me; itâs either right or itâs wrong. Those actions are dishonest and itâs wrong.â?
Despite all this chat about black and white, speaking to Azhar is generating only one colour in the forefront of our rather small mind. Red. A bright, cherry red of the hue found upon the young businessmanâs hot pants back in the fitness task of week five (see below). But when we bring up Groove Train, Azhar shies away, blushing profusely and shuffling his Italian leather shoes. Not. âIâve had quite a lot of female contact actually. Itâs quite funny. When I got to business events a lot of the older women come over to me and try to be friendly with me, and then the last word they put in is about my red shorts.â?
So what is next for this strategic business machine? More TV? Perhaps a fitness video featuring said shorts? âI never say never, watch this space. Perhaps there could be a new fitness class and maybe I could be chairing it, you never know.”
Silliness aside, Siddiqui Business Mode kicks back in. âI saw the whole show as a transaction really, and the exposure from the show allowed me to get hold of enough money to finance my project so Iâm already onto the next thing now. I think I could have worked well with Lord Sugar and he did say that I was a nice guy. But then he seemed to warm to the dishonesty from Jade so Iâm not too sure about him to be honest with youâ¦what can I say, Lord Sugar is unpredictable so anything is possible.â?