"I'm here to make money"
The 16th series of The Apprentice gets underway on January 6, 2022, where 16 new candidates will battle for Lord Alan Sugar’s £250,000 business investment.
Karren Brady returns as one of Lord Sugar’s aides while series one winner Tim Campbell will act as Claude Littner’s temporary successor as the latter recovers from surgery.
The Apprentice returns for the first time in two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year’s candidates feature eight men and eight women from different backgrounds, including retail, food and drink, cosmetics and so on.
Over the coming weeks, the candidates will face numerous business tasks to impress Lord Sugar.
The 16th series looks to have the toughest challenges as many businesses across the UK have been negatively affected by the pandemic.
For 2022, four British Asian entrepreneurs are included – Akshay, Harpreet, Harry and Shama.
All four hopefuls are set to impress in the boardroom, with the possibility of winning £250,000 and taking their business plan further.
Will they face Lord Sugar’s dreaded “You’re fired!” Or will they have a more favourable experience?
Let’s find out more about the new candidates.
Twenty-eight-year-old Akshay Thakrar is already the owner of his own business, leading a digital marketing agency.
The Londoner believes he has been on earth to do one thing and that is to make money.
He says sleeping is a “waste of time” and claims that his first word as a newborn was “profit”.
With the ability to speak seven languages, Akshay is able to connect with everyone and therefore can “sell anything, to anyone”.
On his sales ability, Akshay says:
“My friends call me AK47 because I’m a killer salesperson.”
Harpreet Kaur is the owner of a dessert parlour and already earns six figures from her coffee and cake business.
The 30-year-old from West Yorkshire says she is a born leader, fearless and funny.
Not shying away from confidence, Harpreet plans to “level up” her business to become a top brand in the UK.
Motivated by her need to be the best version of herself, she isn’t here to make friends and is ready to be Lord Sugar’s next business partner.
Harpreet adds: “I’m definitely not in business to make friends.
“I’m here to make money, and I’m pretty sure Lord Sugar isn’t looking for a new mate.”
Harry Mahmood is a regional operations manager who describes himself as the “Asian version of Lord Sugar”.
The 35-year-old from the West Midlands wants to help and support people, having been inspired by the kindness of his grandparents.
“Everything I’ve looked into achieving, I’ve achieved I’ve literally done everything I’ve put my mind to.”
He hopes to work with Lord Sugar in order to develop his bath bomb business and become “the bad boys of the bath bomb world together”.
Shama Amin, from Bradford, has a busy life running her children’s day nursery as well as juggling life with five children at home.
The 41-year-old is passionate about taking care of children and describes herself as loyal, determined and outspoken.
Having wanted this since childhood, Shama is ready to prove she has the “skillset that is required to be one of the best, successful businesswomen in the early years sector”.
Shama adds: “Being a lady of colour, wearing a headscarf as well and the challenges that we face on a daily basis.
“I just want to be a living example for the Asian women out there.”
The 16th series of The Apprentice is set to become a weekly indulgence once again.
With its diverse line-up of confident candidates, the show will witness great challenges.
Tasks include exploring children’s oral care, an adventurous brief to boost Welsh tourism with zip lines and steam trains and the development of an original video game concept will also take things up another level.
As witnessed in the previous series, not everything goes to plan. The clash of the men versus women, conflicting personalities and decisions may lead to mayhem.
DESIblitz wishes Akshay, Harpreet, Harry and Shama the best of luck.
The Apprentice starts on January 6, 2022, on BBC One, airing at 9 pm.