No regrets over ‘laser focus’ leadership style, says fired Apprentice candidate

For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only Undated BBC handout photo of (left to right) Karren Brady, Lord Sugar and Cl
For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only Undated BBC handout photo of (left to right) Karren Brady, Lord Sugar and Claude Littner in the Boardroom ahead of this year's BBC1 contest, The Apprentice.

The latest contestant to be fired from The Apprentice has said she stands by her “laser focus” leadership style, despite others claiming it sucked the joy out of the tasks.

Learning and development manager Jasmine Kundra said she was “heartbroken” after being booted off the competition in its eighth week.

She told the Press Association: “Do you know what, I was really heartbroken. I had this laser focus, this laser precision during the challenges.

The Apprentice 2018
Jasmine Kundra exited the series after clashing with Tom Bunday (BBC/PA)

“That might have led some people to accuse me of sucking the joy out of tasks but I will stand by that. A £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar, I was always in it to win it and I think I made that clear.”

She said she “absolutely” did not think it was her time to leave after facing off against Tom Bunday and Sabrina Stocker in the boardroom.

She added: “I absolutely don’t believe that it was my time to go. I thought Tom was out the door but then he launched a clever, passionate speech.

“That nanosecond, just at the right time, really affected the decision so much. I should have spoken up, fought my corner and I might still be there.”

The 34-year-old from the West Midlands said that following her departure she had turned her focus to an events company with her performer husband.

Week eight of the BBC show saw the remaining contestants summoned to the imposing Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.

Appearing via video link, Lord Sugar challenged the group – who are vying for the entrepreneur’s £250,000 investment in their business – to become art dealers.

They were to select and sell a contemporary artist’s work, as well as merchandise bearing that artist’s products, at a gallery sales event.

After a successful pitch, Kundra was nominated project manager (PM) while sponsorship consultant Jackie Fast was made PM of the opposing team.

Following an impassioned speech to win over her team, Kundra said: “We are now on week eight and it is about time I took the reins again. I don’t want to watch someone else making mistakes. I want to be in charge of this one and want to lead us to victory.”

The Apprentice 2018
Tom Bunday saved himself from being fired from the show with a last-minute speech to Lord Sugar in the boardroom (BBC/PA)

However her team’s plans went awry from the off, with Kundra and Bunday interrupting and speaking over one another in front of potential artist clients.

During her team’s sale event, Kundra took Stocker to task following an over-enthusiastic sales pitch that led to a lucrative sale being missed.

The results of the challenge were revealed in the boardroom where Kundra’s team discovered they had made only £1,325.49 from commission on sales while Fast’s team had done “incredibly well” selling to the public, according to Claude Littner, making £3,499.76.

Singling out Kundra for her poor leadership style and choice of product, Lord Sugar delivered his verdict, telling her: “You say that all’s fair in love and war, and business is a war. Well, you’ve lost this war. You’re fired.”

The Apprentice continues next Wednesday on BBC One.

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