Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fernandes does his first firing in Apprentice Asia

Reality TV show The Apprentice Asia has taken off with one contestant being “fired” by AirAsia boss Tan Sri Tony Fernandes after a premiere that saw two teams competing to sell fish in their first challenge.

The show, which made its debut Wednesday on AXN, saw the 12 contestants being split into two groups of men and women in the first challenge to sell fish at a local market here.

Both teams made losses in their sales but the men's group, Team Mavericks incurred a bigger loss.

Hence, one of its members had to face being eliminated from the show or “fired” by Fernandes.

F&B company founder Hendy Setiono, from Indonesia, was sent packing last night, after his team was defeated by the women's team, Team Apex.

The show takes on an elimination competition format whereby the 12 contestants, made up of Asia-based business executives, will go against each other for the opportunity to work for one of Fernandes' businesses.

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Nine years after The Apprentice first aired in the United States, the Asian version has finally hit small screens here.

The Apprentice in the United States was a hit as winners were given the golden opportunity of working for flamboyant mogul Donald Trump.

However, over the years, its audience steadily declined from more than 20 million viewers for season one (2004) to less than five million for season 10 (2010).

Nevertheless, Fernandes declared that what had happened in the United States was “irrelevant” as Asians were more interested in seeing an Asian candidate and local competition.

Fernandes is known for turning the ailing AirAsia outfit around and trailblazing the rise of the budget airline industry in Asia.

He also founded the no-frills Tune Hotels chain in 2007 and is the majority shareholder in English football club Queens Park Rangers.

These business interests fall under the entrepreneur's leisure and entertainment corporation Tune Group, which was established in 2007.

The Apprentice Asia can be viewed on AXN every Wednesday.
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