Was it easy for Melody Hossaini to connect to the export of products in the apprentice?

Last night was ‘The Apprentice’ night which severed up a delightful guide on how to export (or not as the case may be), all be it on a very small scale.


The task was to select some products from the UK, which were currently not on sale in France, to  see how many items they could sell by targeting their selling base for a couple of days in Paris.


Black Country based Melody Hossaini seemed to be prominent throughout this task for a number of reasons, it just depends which side of the fence you sit on whether she was good or bad in your view.


Off Melody went with another team member to Paris to try and set up some appointments with supply and retail outlets – it would appear that she was able to connect with many of the companies  with no problem at all because of her ability to speak their language.


Meanwhile the rest of her team back in the UK were selecting which products to actually take to Paris to sell, all the team were in contact which each other and when Melody was informed of what the products were likely to be, she appeared to immediately let personal preference encroach on what might prove to be best product, and in fact proved to be the case for the other team.


Melody was against her team selecting a child car seat product, but regardless of this her project leader asked her to carry out some market research as well as doing some background checking on the company who Sir Alan Sugar had set up for both the teams to pitch too.


As we always say it could be because of how the show is edited but it did appear that Melody carried out market research in a half hearted manner by asking about 6 people what they thought of the child car seat product compared to her preferred choice which was a light shaped like a teapot but made out of porcelain.


As soon as someone intimated that most people in Paris use the metro as the preferred form of transport, the shutters in Melody head came down effectively ruling out the rest of France as a target audience.


It would appear that Melody did not do what she was asked in regard to doing some background checking on the company who Sir Alan Sugar had set up for them to pitch too, because if she had she would have immediately realised that this whole task was about supplying retail outlets throughout France and not just solely in Paris.


Due to Melody’s insistence which also could be said to have swayed other teams members the team went for the porcelain light shaped like a teapot, over the project managers preferred choice of the child’s car seat.


This left the door open for the other team to select the child’s car seat to sell as one of their preferred products and although Melody’s team sold some items, the runaway success of the whole task was the child’s car seat for the other team.


Back in the boardroom the sad thing for us was that Melody was distancing herself from the failure of the task due the wrong decisions and choices which she made, and that her strong presence had swayed other team members.


During the boardroom debate where they effectively fight for their lives Melody simply and calmly said to the project manger that the ultimate decision was his and that he should have stayed strong to his beliefs in the child’s car seat regardless of what the rest of the team were saying – visually we could all see that Melody did have something to do with the overall failure, and in truth Melody knew she did.


As mentioned right at the start your view on this depends on which side of the fence you sit because:-


You could like Sir Alan Sugar connect to the fact that Melody has a bulldoze approach which as he feels can be good for business.


You could like Karen Bradley connect to the fact that Melody should have realised even more that this was a team task, and not just all about Melody.


You could like Nick Hewer connect to the fact that a contributory factor to the failure of the task was in Melody not doing the background research on the company she was asked to do by the project manager.


You could like us connect to the fact that Melody should have realised that this task was about export of UK goods to a whole country and not a city, and that hearing 2 negative reviews on a market research of 6 people is not enough to warrant the success or failure of a product to export.


As local businesses who export your own goods, what is it you connect too?