The Apprentice Week 5 – Dubai These Goods

The Apprentice Week 5 – Dubai These Goods

Zee courtesy of BBC

Courtesy of BBC

Its retail therapy this week in The Apprentice, with the teams dispatched to Dubai to source  and sell items. Zee, who has lived there claims to have a lot of local knowledge. Specifically the teams have to find 8 items for a new hotel.

Leah joins Endeavour to balance the teams, and the pattern for the task is set as she and Zee compete for PM. Zee’s local knowledge gets the nod.

Miles leads the opposition Evolve team, and wants to focus on luxury items, as this is his area of expertise.

Contrasting strategies are adopted by the 2 teams. Zee uses his local knowledge to source items and will not countenance either the need for research or buying items from Malls. For him, the Sukhs are where the bargains will be found. If he has the knowledge, this is a sound strategy. However, over the programme, both the viewer, and his team come to doubt how extensive his local knowledge is. In addition, Zee’s relationship with women, and especially Leah seems strained.

Miles, without the benefit of local knowledge and working against the clock, adopts exactly the opposite strategy, and heads for the Mall. Both teams face time pressures, but where as Zee focuses on negotiation, whilst Miles is focused more on getting all of the items, with negotiation as a secondary concern. Teams will be punished for any items not sourced. Surely, Zee’s local knowledge will come out on top?

Zee and his sub team make a mess of the measurements for a flag and need to re-order, when the item they have ordered proves to be too small. Leah’s team are struggling to get any items, but Neil eventually pushes through a Khandoura at half the price paid by the other team. It proves to be the wrong type of Khandoura

In the boardroom, Zee gets poor feedback from his sub team, especially Leah. His local knowledge is challenged by Sugar, as he made mistakes with the oud and the flag. The wrong sizing of the flag is attributed to Kurt, who accepts the blame. The team’s negotiations are applauded.

Miles is accused of wasting time on research at the Mall, and waiting for the flag to be produced. Their negotiation skills are ridiculed by both Sugar and Karen Brady.

In the end Evolve beat Endeavour, mostly down to the debacle with the flag. Miles more measured approach paid dividends in comparison to Zee’s bravado. Zee looks vulnerable as the team unites against him.

Zee brings back Leah and Natalie. Surprisingly, Kurt is let off despite his mistake with the flag, as is Neil over the Khandoura. Zee justifies his decision based on lack of contribution from Natalie and lack of support from Leah. The girls unite against Zee and accuse him of being sexist. Leah is described as indecisive by Sugar, who also calls Zee arrogant. Eventually, Sugar comments on  Natalie’s lack of contribution. However, he decided to give her one last chance, and it is Zee who is fired, for basically being incompetent. It is the right decision.

Zee proved to be a very ineffective leader. It is crucial for a leader to build up a team, but Zee only succeeded in uniting the team against him. His bravado and the decision to bring Natalie, rather than Kurt or Neil back was the final nail in the coffin of his objectivity. The strong suspicion that he has a problem working with women is also hard to refute, based on the evidence of this programme.