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Is ‘Beauty’ the real winner of the Apprentice 2013

July 30, 2013

The Apprentice winner for 2013 Lappweah Totten with Sir Alan Sugar her  ‘partner’ in their ‘new’ Beauty Clinic business.

So the latest in the litany of Apprentice ‘winners’ is a 24 year old newly qualified Doctor from Northern Ireland. Her business plan was to engage Alan Sugar in a chain of Beauty Clinics ‘with a difference’. This poses a challenge for  the 66 year  as he has never been in this area of business. What has he got himself into and what does his new winner bring to the party?

During the process she demonstrated a drive and a focus which many of the other contestants could not rival although her competitor in the final, Luisa Zissman and her one-stop cake-making business Baker’s Tool Kit, ran her very close and in many viewers eyes and had a better business proposition to develop. However, Dr Leah is the winner and now has to work hard to make sure she is not one of the many ‘winners’ who get chewed up and spat out by the demands of working in and for a very demanding boss in Lord Sugar. History records that none of the previous Apprentice winners are still in the Sugar business empire. The winner from 2012, Stella English, lost a Court case brought against Sugar’s company Viglen, for constructive dismisal claiming she was given a desk and a phone but had no meaningful role and was simply left to her own devices.

Most of the previous winners stayed with Sugars empire for a short period of time before moving on. It is interesting that none have remained. Is it because the staged format of the show has to have the partnership with Sugar as a prize but the fact that most of the contestants are either massive egotists armed with a fledgeling flower shop or a recruitment agency for wonder kids and dreamers from a posh school who simply believe they will be successful because their parents were fortunate enough to have paid for an expensive education for them.

So, will Dr Totten buck this trend? Her plan is to use her ‘experience’ such as it is (she’s a newly qualified Dr) She implies her service will in some way a superior offering to ‘older women’. In addition she claims due to lack of regulation, her being a Dr and the Medical Director of her fledgeling enterprise, she will elevate the standing of these treatments. She certainly has front. During her pitch to so called, ‘Industry Experts’ she was asked to consider if she had thought through her marketing strategy. A belligerent and automatic reply flew back to the questioner suggesting she was a sap for asking such a dumb question. One does have to ask, exactly what is Dr Leah’s USP – no one asked the question of her in any of the Apprentice ‘Boardrooms’ so she hasn’t been pressed for an answer. How will your clinics be any different from the many others offerings the same service? It would be interesting to hear her view as she has motivated the Aesthetic industry luminaries to leap up to question her wisdom. The post final headlines will have been disappointing to Sir Alan. The press have cottoned onto the fact that she now plans to leave the NHS after taxpayers have funded her training. 

Dr Christian from TV’s Embarrassing Bodies also had harsh words to say about the winner


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