Yasmina Siadatan wins The Apprentice

The 27-year-old Londoner was hired by Sir Alan on what she described
as the businessman’s “gut instinct”, ahead of rival Kate Walsh.

Ms Siadatan said her achievements combined with her mistakes during the series may have given her the edge over Ms Walsh.

In the final episode, the finalists were given a task to create a
new brand of chocolates which they had to pitch to a roomful of
industry experts, including Waitrose’s chief buyer.

Asked how she
felt to have won the coveted job, Ms Siadatan said: “I can’t believe
it, I am in shock. All those months ago you first apply to try to get
on, and here I am, it’s amazing.”

On beating Ms Walsh, who had
performed consistently well during the series, Ms Siadatan said the
mistakes she had made during the series – which included confusing the
gross profit with the net profit of her restaurant on her CV – may have
endeared her to Sir Alan.

She said: “I don’t feel like I’ve
beaten Kate because I feel we both deserved that job, and we feel we
just had different qualities and Sir Alan needed my qualities over
hers. I don’t think mine were any better than hers, I just think that’s
the kind of guy Sir Alan is, and I’m sure Kate will do just as well as
I do but on a different path.

“(Sir Alan) described it in a
nutshell when he said: ‘I can’t put it into words why I chose Yasmina
it was just a gut instinct’, and I think because of the way that I
performed, even though I made some quite serious errors as we’ve seen,
I was also able to show him that I exceeded in certain areas, the
profit I made in the catering task was the biggest profit he’s ever
seen on an Apprentice task.

“Maybe I’ve shown him that even
though I’ve got this real confidence and real strength in some areas,
I’ve also got a side of me that is slightly insecure and slightly
unsure and I will make mistakes. But without that side to you I don’t
think you can ever really excel and succeed.”

Ms Siadatan is now
looking forward to starting work with Sir Alan, even though the job is
a world away from her restaurant Mya Lacarte in Caversham.

“The
actual product will be completely different. Catered food and digital
signage are completely different industries and products but, as you’ve
seen in The Apprentice, to get as far as I did you have to be totally
adaptable and in my life I went from being at uni to then doing a ski
season, going travelling, then working here (and there), then having my
own business, then going on The Apprentice.

“I’ve been adaptable my whole life, so I relish the opportunity to work in a digital signage company now,” she said.

Ms Siadatan also said she will be getting in touch with the winner of last year’s The Apprentice, Lee McQueen.

“(I’ll
get in touch) without a doubt. Everyone needs a mentor, don’t they? I’d
like to chew his ear off about how his experience on the programme has
affected him and the best way to go about certain things,” she said.

Sir Alan also has Ms Siadatan’s full support when it comes to his new position in the Government as a business advisor.

“If
you look back over what he’s achieved, he’s been in business for 40
years, he’s lived through recessions but has built up his own
companies, he’s used to dealing with the media and knows a lot about
business.

“On top of that he’s got a lovely family and he’s got
grandchildren, so he’s interested in how the youth of today perceive
business, that’s why he went on The Apprentice.

“If you look at
the big picture you have to be really hard-nosed to think he doesn’t
deserve to be a Lord,” she said, adding that she does not think his new
title will change the show.

“I don’t know how easily ‘Lord Alan’
rolls off the tongue, but if that’s going to change then I’m sure we’ll
all adapt. More of a change will be Margaret (Mountford) leaving.

“Series
five was her last, so it’s going to be gloomy days, but I’m sure Sir
Alan can look through his address book and find another trusted
assistant.”

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