Episode 11

Affordable luxury

The final task of the series saw the remaining five candidates being asked to create an affordable luxury brand, to be pitched to a panel of industry experts including Lord Sugar himself.

Tom and Ricky chose to enter the cut-throat world of male grooming and struck up an effective working partnership. While project manager Ricky donned a coiffure-threatening hairnet at the factory, Tom researched the business model (enjoying a close shave in the process), came up with the brand name Modern Gentleman, designed the packaging and planned out their prototype retail space.

Meanwhile, Adam’s team failed to devise a coherent strategy, product range or pricing approach, despite relying heavily on Jade’s creativity for both product and branding ideas. Their Sweet Thing range of confectionery was praised. However, the team’s lack of understanding of the business model was soon exposed as being not so much Sweet Thing as Sweet Little Nothing.

In the boardroom Tom and Ricky sampled the sweet taste of victory and automatic passage to the final, as they received praise for their thorough research and polished presentation. They were eventually joined by Jade and Nick as Lord Sugar elected to fire Adam, whose strong selling skills in previous weeks could not compensate for a series of poor business decisions in leading this task. It just went to show that too many sweets aren’t good for you.

Written by Tim Liew

In the press:
  • What an enigmatic bloke! He is very quietly spoken with remarkable composure, which means that when he does talk people listen to him. And he is bright, a strategist, thoughtful.
    Nick Hewer
    The Radio Times
    19th May 2012
  • Entrepreneur, wine connoisseur, heartthrob and TV star. The traits of Tom Gearing make the 23-year-old sound more James Bond than Apprentice...
    27th Jun 2012
  • Is this man, Tom Gearing really a candidate? He belongs on the pages of omg! He's got that sultry stare perfected already.
    OMG from Yahoo!
    13th Mar 2012
  • Tom shot to stardom for being the best dressed man on television (pretty much single handedly bringing back the tie clip in the process), but more poignantly for showing business wisdom and entrepreneurial nous way beyond his years.
    Christopher Warren-Gash
    16th Jul 2012
  • Tom Gearing consistently speaks up with common sense in a non-threatening manner. He is one of my favourites.
    Claire Young
    26th Apr 2012
  • Tom was in control and implemented a risky strategy of quality and desirability of product over quantity. This proved to be a winning strategy and his experience shone through...Tom understood the task and remained confident with the risks he took. Demonstrating drive and determinism as well as competitiveness and knowledge
    Phil Sheridan
    The Telegraph
    12th Apr 2012

Latest news:

Tom chats to Joe Forrester

Monday 11 Jun 2012

In this interview, Apprentice 2012 runner-up Tom Gearing chats to Joe Forrester about his time on the hit business show.

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