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Alan Sugar hires a 'Junior Apprentice'

By
Arjun Rajyagor from Junior Apprentice

© BBC

Lord Alan Sugar has hired 17-year-old Arjun Rajyagor as his first ever Junior Apprentice.

The A-Level student won a £25,000 fund, which will be used to kick-start his business career.

During the final task, Arjun teamed up with Tim Ankers against Zoe Plummer and Kirsty Cleaver in a water bottle branding challenge. Tim and Arjun's 'A Bottle Of Water' product was delivered with a confident pitch and they impressed Sugar with their composure at answering questions from the floor.

Zoe and Kirsty's water was aimed at the youth market, but they were criticised for suggesting that their product would benefit people's health. Sugar also complained that the girls' TV ad campaign "looked like a mugging on a council estate".

After some deliberation, Sugar told the girls that they had lost the task and would be leaving the competition. However, he praised the duo for their efforts in the competition.

"You want to be a little more upfront and not so much of a busy bee behind the scenes," he told Kirsty. Speaking to Zoe, he commented: "You've got it all, you just need to get that character right."

Sugar then consulted with Karren Brady and Nick Hewer before announcing which of the two boys would be the winner.

"Arjun, I've spoken of your apparent soft nature, your clear academic qualifications," he said. "My concerns about you [are] adapting and trying to show that you can actually come up with that seed and spark of an idea that is needed in business.

"Tim, you started off, we were a bit concerned about you [to] be honest with you. There were times when I was really tossing up in my mind if you should be on your way home. It's a tough choice."

Explaining his decision to hire Arjun, Sugar said: "[He] has that natural business flair combined with intelligence that some people are born with - you can't learn it. I know that Arjun is going to become the best at whatever he wants to do and I will be here for support all the way.

"I was so impressed with all of the candidates - they were outstanding for their age - but there had to be just one winner, and Arjun has done himself and his family proud."

Speaking afterwards, Arjun said: "It's been an amazing opportunity and I can't believe I'm the first Junior Apprentice. It's absolutely mind-blowing and it hasn't even set in yet.

"Tim was the greatest opponent anybody could have ever wanted. My parents are so ecstatic and I hope I've done them proud. To think of the amount of opportunities this will open up for me is just amazing."

Runner-up Tim commented: "It is always hard coming so close to first after such a long process, but to have been placed below such a capable candidate as Arjun makes it a lot easier.

"I wish him all the best for the future and intend to stay close friends with him. For me now, concentrating on my A-levels is paramount and I could also do with a good offer of employment! It was such an enjoyable experience, one which I will never forget."

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