Former Team Conquest Mainstay Gets The Ax On ‘Apprentice’ Episode 8

John Wolcott | May 7, 2021 |

Eight remaining global candidates battled through a mock helicopter crash and an upcycling retail challenge to get closer to the one-year, US$250,000 contract to work as ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong‘s protege.

After having their worlds turned upside down, Team Conquest prevailed once again in the boardroom and Team Valor’s newest member was sent packing.

Here’s all the drama and excitement that went down on Episode 8 of “The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition.”

Candidates Turned Upside Down

The global candidates met ONE Vice President Rich “Ace” Franklin before their physical challenge, and the multiple-time Mixed Martial Arts World Champion warned them not to crack under pressure. When faced with their next task, his advice made perfect sense.

Both teams had to go through an emergency escape simulation exercise and test their resilience in a mock helicopter crash while being submerged upside down underwater.

The task was difficult, but the rules were simple. The team that got all four of its members to disengage from their seats, swim through the windows, and climb onto the life raft the fastest, would win.

Before the start of the challenge, however, Task Captain Dom Lau moved Niraj Puran Rao from Team Conquest to Team Valor, and the Indian candidate cheered because he no longer had to deal with his growing nemesis Nazee Sajedi.

For Niraj, though, the physical challenge was no laughing matter; he admitted that he almost drowned twice in his life. As for his rival, she felt overconfident that she could bring her team to victory because she had gone through these exercises during pilot school.

However, after Nazee got stuck inside the submerged helicopter, it was Niraj and Team Valor who emerged with the win.

Upselling Sustainability

Co-Advisor Niharika Singh presented the teams with their next business challenge, which included selling sustainable goods and earning the highest sales and profit margins.

On Team Conquest, Nazee volunteered to be Project Manager because she hadn’t done so since Episode 1. Jessica Ramella shot those plans down, however, and then the team agreed to let Irina Chadsey take the lead.

With Team Valor, the group decided to name Paulina Purnomowati the Project Manager because she already had experience in sales.

Both teams then met with prospective buyers – both from the B2B and B2C worlds – and tried to negotiate prices that would increase their profit margins.

Team Conquest seemed to struggle in this regard, but they justified high prices by including free workshops with their sustainable goods.

As for Team Valor, they seemed to be crushing it – except for Niraj. While Paulina, Louie Sangalang, and Monica Millington were making plenty of sales, the Indian candidate could barely make the needle move, drawing criticism from Niharika.

Pitch With Passion And Purpose

Throughout “The Apprentice,” Chatri has always been there to mentor the global candidates. And before the groups’ pitches, it was no different.

Before they stepped up to present their pitches to both him and Niharika, the ONE Chairman and CEO reminded the candidates that business is about passion and purpose.

With that, Team Valor pitched first.

Monica stepped up to start her team’s presentation about upcycling, but when she made eye contact with Chatri, her mind went blank and she needed a gentle nudge from her teammates to get her going. Niraj and Paulina then delivered their team’s strategy, while Louie went over the sales and profits numbers.

Team Valor made $15,769 SGD in total overall sales with 12% of the sales coming from B2C.

Chatri praised Team Valor for its smart strategy and outstanding presentation, but he admitted it lacked equality.

Team Conquest then pitched its presentation, with Kexin Ye taking the forefront. Like Monica, however, she also stumbled over her words, even getting a retailer’s name wrong – and Niharika was quick to catch it.

But teammates Nazee, Jessica, and Irina brought it home with a solid sales strategy and shining profit margins. In fact, Team Conquest had $26,416 SGD in total overall sales – and Jessica, alone, contributed an extraordinary $11,230 SGD in individual sales, which blew the ONE Chairman and CEO away.

Though he was impressed, Chatri did notice that the team had missed a word in the title of their presentation, and he sternly let them know.

Boardroom ‘Conquest’

When the eight global candidates converged in the boardroom, Chatri told them that although team performance still matters, individual performance will matter even more moving forward.

The ONE Chairman and CEO then gave feedback to Team Conquest for the business challenge. He was blown away by the sales numbers, but he thought the presentation was weak and had errors.

Since the acting Project Manager for Team Conquest was Irina, Chatri asked her who she felt contributed the most and least, and the Russian said Jessica and Kexin, respectively.

He then praised Team Valor’s pitch deck, calling it outstanding. But he felt it missed an execution plan and strong process.

With that, Chatri asked Paulina who she thought were the weakest and strongest links on her team for this challenge, and the Indonesian said Louie and Niraj, respectively.

And although Paulina’s teammates rated her an eight out of ten as a leader, Chatri declared Team Conquest as this week’s winner of the business challenge.

With Team Valor as this week’s losers, Paulina picked Niraj and Monica to go with her to the chopping block.

Narrowing Down ‘The One’

Chatri and Niharika admitted that it was getting harder to eliminate the candidates because they were feeling more affectionate toward them, but they reminded themselves of the show’s mission – to find “the one.”

With that, they called in the three candidates and let them speak their peace.

Paulina told the duo that she doesn’t see her leadership skills in anyone else on the show. Monica reminded Chatri and Niharika that she has the grit and resilience to be a leader. Niraj, on the other hand, admitted that although he might not have a particular skill set, his values are his biggest assets.

After careful consideration, Chatri addressed the group.

“You’re not the one,” he said as he turned to Niraj, before praising the Indian for the tremendous growth he displayed over the previous eight weeks.

He then turned to Paulina and Monica.

“There’s seven people left,” he said. “Show me – be truly outstanding.”

Tune in to AXN next Thursday, 13 May, at 8:50 p.m. to catch all the drama on Episode 9 of “The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition.”

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