Claude told him he was "taking the p*ss"
The Apprentice has seen business hopefuls come and go since the show’s inception in 2005.
There have been numerous entrepreneurs hoping to win Alan Sugar’s coveted investment and become his new business partner.
Amongst the competition have been Desi contestants who have come and gone during the gruelling 12-week process.
But, how successful have some of those contestants been? Is it anything to be impressed by?
Well, to the surprise of many, there are a few media personalities that the public sees on TV and are unaware their journey started from The Apprentice.
Some of the business-savvy individuals have stuck with their entrepreneurial spirit and succeeded with their own companies – even without Alan Sugar’s £250,000.
So, who are the most successful Desi contestants from The Apprentice?
British Pakistani, Saira Khan, was part of the first-ever season of The Apprentice that aired in 2005.
She ended up reaching the final but lost out to Tim Campbell who has served as one of Alan Sugar’s advisers next to Karren Brady.
After the show ended, Saira went on to feature in multiple British TV programmes as well as starting successful businesses.
She has a natural skincare company called Saira Skin, a fashion brand named Saira Khan Collection and a baby skincare business (Miamoo).
In addition to her entrepreneurial ventures, Saira also published P.U.S.H. for Success (2006), a self-help book to aid people in reaching their full potential.
She’s become known to the British public as a very opinionated, strong and motivating woman.
Saira was a regular on the panellist show Loose Women and also featured in other reality hits like Dancing on Ice and Celebrity Big Brother.
Her accolades speak for themselves and her work in media led her to be nominated for the Services to Media Award at the British Muslim Awards in 2013 and 2015.
The personality is arguably the most successful British Asian to have been featured on The Apprentice.
Anisa Topan was part of the 13th season of The Apprentice and made it to the eighth week of the show.
Whilst Lord Sugar did not choose to make her his business partner, she has gone on to be very successful after her stint on the programme.
She prides herself on being an “agent of transformation” and has a passion to help businesses and entrepreneurs thrive.
Through her own website, Anisa offers bespoke packages for new and struggling business owners.
The aim of her services is to help put ideas into action and help owners further their reach to their target audiences.
However, the contestant also has two other businesses.
The first is The Twenty Fifth Hour – a proactive PR consultancy founded in 2013 that specialises in independent brands to help build their awareness.
The other is Couturie – a jewellery collective that focuses on creating special pieces that hold a purpose.
Couturie is currently on hold as they focus on a campaign with Mind Charity called Take A Moment.
There’s no doubt that The Apprentice hasn’t deterred Anisa from her business aspirations and has instead given her the platform to shine.
Solomon was featured on series 10 of The Apprentice and gave audiences one of the most viral moments in the show’s history.
Reaching the round of interviews, Claude Littner praised Solomon for his “mature” and “nicely written” CV.
As the compliments continued, viewers were shocked at how positive Claude’s comments were.
But, then he delivered a one-liner that wiped Solomon’s smile off his face.
He told Solomon that his business proposal was “a bloody disgrace”.
He then laid into him and provided viewers with one of the most memorable exchanges ever.
Even though Solomon tried to defend himself, Claude told him he was “taking the p*ss” and told him to leave.
But although many remember this contestant for this specific moment, his success in business is still impressive.
He is the founder and Business Director of Socialbear, a global leader in customer service and community management.
Solomon oversees the company’s growth and is helping the primarily UK-based business scale up to new territories overseas.
Socialbear already has offices in London, New York, Sydney and Dubai and has worked with major brands like Jaguar Land Rover, British Airways, Nestle and HM Government.
Not too shabby from the once joked-about contestant.
2017 saw Bushra Shaikh appear on The Apprentice as the owner and designer of her own luxury fashion brand for Muslim women.
The businesswoman is from surrey and was fired by Alan Sugar in week nine.
During her time on the show, she showed her passion and commitment towards business and wasn’t afraid to take charge of tasks.
However, she fell at the final hurdles and was unable to achieve one of her dreams of landing a big partnership with the London business mogul.
Whilst her business idea focused on giving Muslim women an identity through clothing, she admits:
“There is not and should not be a ‘fashionable’ side of religion. It is contradictory to what the faith means. The line started blurring and blurring more.
“I saw imagery from mainstream brands where the model’s arms were showing but the legs were covered and she had a hijab on. I felt uneasy about it.”
So, she set aside her fashion goals and focused more on representation and political matters.
She has become a regular guest on shows like GMB, Jeremey Vine and BBC One where she gives her opinion on different issues in society.
Bushra is also the founder of RunRacismOut – the first British Pakistan-led anti-racism organisation.
The aim of the company is to “build awareness and support British Pakistanis and South Asians from racism”.
Bushra has become a staple of some of the most-watched news shows in the UK and has reached new success after her stint on The Apprentice.
Harpreet Kaur appeared on The Apprentice in 2022, the 16th season of the popular programme.
The businesswoman is from Yorkshire and joined the competition hoping to win with her dessert business, Oh So Yum!
After 12 weeks of tasks, Harpreet managed to win Alan Sugar’s £250,000 investment and became his new business partner.
Harpreet was understandably happy to receive the investment, saying:
“I cannot believe Lord Sugar has chosen me to be his business partner!
“I have dreamed of this moment, and it just completely proves that if you work hard and you believe in yourself, dreams do come true.”
Since her win, Harpreet has gained notoriety across the UK for her dessert business.
The Oh So Yum! parlour sits in Huddersfield but she has launched stock in the Selfridges store in both Birmingham and Manchester.
Oh So Yum! even has a range of merchandise on sale including hoodies, notebooks, mugs, money boxes, tote bags and keyrings.
Harpreet started dating fellow contestant Akshay Thakrar after the show. He also has multiple business ventures and the news of the couple’s relationship was met with celebration.
The businesswoman has gone on to appear in multiple British shows and is continuing to expand Oh So Yum! in different locations across the UK.
These Desi contestants from The Apprentice have shown how successful one can be whether one wins the show or not.
Their dedication to their businesses and ideas has allowed them to triumph in entrepreneurship and lead by example for future British Asians who think about signing up for the show.
The diversity on The Apprentice has grown over the years so there’ll be no doubt that more Desi contestants will win that special £250,000 investment.