It has taken weeks to whittle down the original 16 candidates but Lord Alan Sugar has finally found his next business partner on The Apprentice.
The businessman, along with the help of his advisors Baroness Karren Brady and Tim Campbell, watched as Harpreet Kaur and Kathryn Burn created the businesses that they’d use their £250,000 winnings to invest in during Thursday night’s final of the BBC One reality show.
The episode saw Harpreet show off what her dessert business could offer while Kathryn wanted Lord Sugar to see her unique matching pajama business was worth his cash. It was all done with the help of a few familiar faces – the previously fired candidates.
READMORE: BBC The Apprentice: Full list of winners and where they are now – from Lord Sugar’s advisor to the most successful ever
After choosing a new name for their businesses, creating a digital billboard and an advert, it was over to the two finalists to pitch their ideas in front of Lord Sugar and a team of experts from across the dessert and food delivery world, and the retail sector.
In the end, it was Harpreet who becomes the show’s 17th winner – after two candidates were offered investment in series 14. He follows in the footsteps of the series 15 champion Carina Lepore, who also developed a business for those with a sweet tooth with her London-based bakery chain Dough Artisan Bakehouse.
Speaking immediately after finding out she had won, Harpreet said: “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,” she said.
But The Apprentice viewers who have followed every moment of the series were quick to have their say with many telling Lord Sugar he had made the ‘wrong decision’ due to a very specific detail.
@jenwrenarm said: “So what about the vanishing Sister?” “Absolutely shocking that she won, its not just her business de ella, what is she going to do kick her sister to the kerb,” @hfyfe123 wrote.
@leanne_court tweeted: “So the big question is, what about Harpreets sister? #TheApprentice.” “How was it last week, Harpreet being in 50/50 business with her sister de ella was nearly the reason she went. Now this week, it hasn’t been mentioned and now she’s hired !? Wrong decision in my eyes! # TheApprentic and,” @jodielliman commented.
@mattleythegreat shared: “Not sure that was the right decision. No real USP and not an adaptable proposition. Also unsure of her character. And her sister?? #TheApprentice.”
“Really enjoyed #TheApprentice tonight. Congratulations to #Harpreet and also to #Kathryn and both teams. BUT … why was there no mention of Harpreet’s sister, when they could talk of little else at the interview stage? Has she been fired? ??” @helenlewisbooks quizzed.
West Yorkshire-based Harpreet owns Oh So Yum! – a dessert parlor and sweet treat delivery service – with her older sister Gurvinder. The company has two locations, in Leeds and Huddersfield.
During the intensive interview segment of the show, which aired last Thursday (March 17), Lord Sugar expressed concerns about the fact that she only owns 50 per cent of the business, after she failed to declare that her sister owns the remaining half.
“If you didn’t want her as a shareholder or director, fine, she’s prepared to step down,” Harpreet told Lord Sugar in the boardroom following her interview with his most trusted advisors.
“But she’s a 50% owner isn’t she, at the moment?” Lord Sugar asked, prompting Harpreet to confirm: “ella She is ella, that’s correct.”
However, it seems as though her sister is still involved in the winning business as its official social media page recently posted a video introducing her as a ‘co-founder’ who “works hard to make sure customers have the best experience when they visit our parlor as well as making sure that our fantastic team are always happy.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.