Indian-origin entrepreneur Harpreet Kaur wins popular UK TV show


PTI, Mar 27, 2022, 7:44 PM IST

London: The Indian-origin owner of a dessert parlor in northern England beat 16 rival candidates to win GBP 250,000 investment in one of the UK’s popular reality television shows ‘The Apprentice’.

Harpreet Kaur, 30, went head-to-head with other budding entrepreneurs from different parts of Britain, including another Indian-origin candidate Akshay Thakrar, for the 16th edition of the BBC show helmed by business tycoon Lord Alan Sugar.

In the end, Kaur was able to convince the business leader to back her idea to scale up her Oh So Yum! range of dessert parlors.

“I’m really overwhelmed,” said Kaur, as she was pronounced the winner of the pre-recorded show over the weekend.

“Lost for words that I’ve won the BBC Apprentice. But I’m so excited for this new chapter with Oh So Yum! Thank you to everyone who showed their support,” she said.

Describing herself as a ”born leader, fearless and funny”, Kaur entered the show to expand her already successful coffee and cakes business in West Yorkshire, with the aim of becoming a leading brand in the UK.

“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,” she declared, at the start of the show earlier this year.

“I love turning my dreams into goals, and then achieving them. But life is also about enjoying the small moments and pleasures, such as really good dessert of course,” said Kaur, a British Punjabi, who grew up in Birmingham.

Her working-class family runs a convenience store in Huddersfield, where Kaur helped out while juggling work and studies before eventually setting up her first dessert shop in partnership with her sister Gurvinder.

She applied for ‘The Apprentice’ convinced that the business was ready to be scaled up with the right amount of investment.

Over the course of 12 tough tasks broadcast weekly, 16 candidates were whittled down with the words “you’re fired” by Sugar until the final four remained to fight it out for his GBP 250,000 investment.

As part of the show’s format, each week the wannabe entrepreneurs are divided into two teams, led by designated Project Managers, that lock horns under the watchful eyes of Sugar’s advisors – well-known businesswoman Baroness Karren Brady and past winner Tim Campbell.

After completing each task, both teams return to the boardroom to discuss their inspirational or calamitous experiences and discover which side has triumphed.

The winning team is rewarded with a luxury treat while the losing team’s Project Manager must select two colleagues to accompany them back into the boardroom.

Sugar then gives them a chance to argue their case before deciding who deserves to be fired from the process.

This year marked the first time that ‘The Apprentice’ had an all-female final, eventually won by Kaur as Sugar’s newest business partner.

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