Alumni & friends

Bath graduate named as Lord Sugar’s Apprentice

Mon Jul 18 11:15:00 BST 2011

Tom PellereauAfter eleven gruelling tasks, three boardroom appearances and four interviews, University of Bath graduate Tom Pellereau (MEng Innovation & Engineering Design 2002) has won BBC1’s The Apprentice.

Tom has won a £250,000 business partnership with self-made millionaire Lord Sugar. The winnings will be invested into Tom’s nail care business, which he set up after inventing, producing and selling an innovative curved nail file, Stylfile. The pair has plans to develop a range of products for the international market.

Professor Tony Miles, Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering, said: “We are delighted and extremely proud that our former graduate Tom Pellereau has won this year’s The Apprentice. We remember Tom well, he was a quiet, understated, self-effacing individual who was a high achiever as testified by his First Class honours in our MEng degree in Innovation and Design.

“It seems that his personality, inventive skills and enterprise won the day. We certainly would like to think that his experience as a student at Bath played a significant part in equipping him with the skills that helped him both in his career, prior to appearing in the The Apprentice, and in his current success.”

Lord Sugar kept his cards close to his chest right to the end; Tom was criticised for not being forceful enough during the tasks, flaws were found with his business model and Lord Sugar had already stated after firing design engineer Glenn in episode seven that he had “never yet come across an engineer that can turn his hand to business”. Yet the businessman was made to eat his words as Tom soon emerged as the only contestant with a realistic business strategy and proven success in seeing a product through to market.

Tom seemingly tipped the balance in his favour in the last minutes of the competition, finally showing his drive and gumption by describing how he managed to get a meeting with a buyer within Walmart. Upon hearing how Tom found out who the buyer was and delivered a parcel to her in person, earning half an hour of her time during which he successfully pitched his invention, Lord Sugar said: “I didn’t know you had it in you”.

We knew he had it in him; congratulations Tom!

Missed the final? Catch up with BBC iPlayer (only available in the UK)

Photo credit - BBC/Talkback Thames