|The Apprentice episode|
|Task:||Sell fruit and vegetables|
|Project Managers:|| Karen (Velocity)|
|Airdate:||February 22nd 2006|
|Series Two Tasks:|
Week One kicked off the second series, with the task being to sell fruit and vegetables at a London market.
Karen volunteered to lead the women's team, who eventually decided on the name "Velocity." She decided that since most fruit traders tend to be men, that they would wear revealing outfits and act flirtatiously towards them in order to get the best deal. This, combined with good purchasing choices, meant that they only spent £41 on stock.
One half of Velocity sold at Hackney Market, while the other half of the team sold to various local businesses. Despite some problems, such as a few items being rotten and having to be thrown away, and Nargis annoying some potential buyers by constantly speaking down to them, they managed to sell all their stock.
The men's team were slower to decide on their team name and leader; eventually Ben volunteered to do it, and the team decided on "Invicta" for their name. Compared to the other team, Invicta only did a minimal amount of negotiation and spent over £300 on stock.
Ben decided to have all seven team members at the Hackney Market stall, and seemed reluctant to make major decisions during the day. Samuel failed to get involved with selling, and spent most of the day putting stock out on the stall. When custom at the market started to die down, Ben finally decided to sell to homes in the area. Invicta managed to sell all their stock, albeit at somewhat reduced prices - in a couple of cases, even at stock prices. Throughout the task, Syed got into arguments with Ben over leadership and decisions, sometimes in front of customers.
The profit figures suggested that Velocity had easily beaten their opponents, with a profit of £1143 as compared to the £781 that Invicta took. However, Sir Alan was displeased on discovering the tactics they had used to get discounts on their stock. He told them that he was going to leave the boardroom for five minutes and that when he returned he wanted them to justify their purchasing tactics, and if they failed to do so satisfactorily their entire sales total would be forfeit, and they would lose the task. Sir Alan, Nick and Margaret all left the boardroom, and Invicta were sent to the waiting area while Velocity had their discussion.
The boardroom resumed five minutes later, and Karen told Sir Alan that they were trying to use their initiative, and that she thought it was unfair that their buying tactics should overshadow the rest of their performance. Sir Alan then told them that he had decided on the fairest course of action - Velocity would be fined the difference between what they had spent on produce and what Invicta spent. While this was arguably unfair to Velocity given that Invicta had negotiated poorly, their profit after the fine was £884, meaning that they had still comfortably won the task. Velocity were given celebratory drinks at Tower 42 as a reward.
Invicta returned to the boardroom, and were questioned on the seeming lack of cohesiveness in their team. Ben blamed Syed for arguing too much and wasting his time, but Syed retorted that Ben had made bad decisions throughout the task, and that he had been trying to help the team instead of just arguing with Ben out of spite. The decision to cluster the whole team around the stall was bought up; Sir Alan branded this a ludicrous decision and asked whether Samuel had been squeezed out of the sales team. Samuel answered honestly and said that he wasn't a good salesman and thought he'd be better getting the stock ready for those who were good salesmen. Nonetheless, Ben bought him back into the boardroom, along with Syed.
Ben spent most of his time in the final boardroom repeating his point of Syed being hard to control and wasting time arguing instead of getting involved selling. In the midst of the argument, Syed turned to Sir Alan and started talking about how similar he was to him, that he came from the same background and that he perfectly understood how Sir Alan thought and what type of person was. Sir Alan was irritated by this obvious attempt by Syed to curry favour, and also had his doubts over Samuel's suitability for the job. However, he decided that in the end, Ben had not led the task properly, and that the few decisions he made were poorly thought out and contributed to the loss. Sir Alan fired Ben, telling him that he had been a bad team manager, but also warned Syed that he would be watching his behaviour carefully from then on.