BBC One
  • Leon Doyle
  • Alex Britez Cabral
  • Melody Hossaini
  • Felicity Jackson
  • Edna Agbarha
  • Susan Ma
  • Ellie Reed
  • Helen Louise Milligan
  • Natasha Scribbins
  • Vincent Disneur
  • Jim Eastwood
  • Edward Hunter
  • Gavin Winstanley
  • Tom Pellereau
  • Glenn Ward
  • Zoe Beresford
Susan Ma

Susan Ma

Describes herself as ‘ambitious, optimistic and easy going’

Age: 21
Career: Natural Skincare Entrepreneur
Lives: Croydon

Boardroom Appearances count count

The Final: Susan’s lotion notion…

 

Susan excitedly claimed that she couldn’t wait to ‘show Lord Sugar her business plan’, confidently stating, ‘It’s something that I know will work’. 

Susan was asked to pitch her organic skincare range using the elevator technique. This involved Susan pretending she was in a lift and treating each ‘floor’ as a level in the presentation. Susan got so excited by the prospect that the lift appeared to shoot through the ceiling and disappear into the sky. Susan’s claims that her business would be able to create a £1million profit in the first year were met with a sharp intake of breath from interviewers, but Susan ploughed on regardless. 
 
In the boardroom, Lord Sugar further scrutinized Susan’s figures and called them ‘unrealistic’, but gave her a silver lining by saying that it didn’t mean that her business couldn’t work. Finally, Lord Sugar announced that Susan was to be the third of the final four to be fired, but not before saying that ‘We’ll hear from Susan in the future’. With a roar as mighty as Susan’s, it wouldn’t be surprising. 

 

Episode Eleven: The atmosphere gets chilli…

 

Teamed up with Natasha, Susan did her best to offer reassurance that their previous rocky relationship had improved, by stating, ‘All the air has been cleared’, but it wasn’t long before the fog was to settle back in. 

The clear air was definitely polluted when the two were yelling at each other about peppers whilst on the phone to Project Manager Jim. Keeping their distance at the fast food outlet, Susan set about her waitress duties with enthusiasm, showing punters to the tables and then serving them soggy, cold nachos. She identified the lack of heat and the process as the problem and took time out from arguing with Natasha to put Jim in his place, by telling him, ‘You need to make sure every fajita, every portion of nachos is absolutely perfect’ - or at the very least, cooked. 
 
In the boardroom, when it was announced that the Mexican fast food joint had only scored an overall score of 4, it looked like a Susan and Natasha showdown was on the cards. Strangely though, their relationship seemed to be the healthiest it had been during the whole of the task and they joined forces to collectively tear apart Project Manager Jim. Susan was given a place in the final and even had a hug for Natasha. 

 

Episode Ten: How to wangle a bangle…

 

Once again, Susan put herself forward as Project Manager and once again, she was knocked back. Opting instead for Natasha, Team Venture set about selecting products to sell to the public.

Despite worrying that the products were ‘bad quality’, Susan selected Knightsbridge as the best place to do some door-to-door duvet selling, but after no sales, she was sent off to reinvest in stock instead. Making a snap decision, Susan invested in bracelets (that weren’t included in Lord Sugar’s product pallet). It was a wise move. Susan’s sales went through the roof, alongside the encouraging backing track of ‘Stop being such an angry person’ and ‘Stop embarrassing yourself’, which was provided by Natasha.

After admitting her duvet debacle to Lord Sugar, it was revealed that Team Venture had won the task, but Natasha’s refusal to reinvest in products cost them a fine and their treat. Back at the house Natasha blamed Susan for their ’hollow victory’, leaving Susan with a scowl on her face and the mass destruction of several friendship bracelets.

 

Episode Nine: No more Mr NICE Susan…

 

Susan decided that she would like to be Project Manager during this task and put her case forward by saying, ‘This is right up my street, I put stuff together, put ingredients together, what’s hot in the market’. Susan’s plea was shot down by Zoe, with a flat, ‘Susie, you work in the cosmetics industry’ and as Zoe came from a food background she was elected Project Manager.

Teamed up with Zoe, Susan was tasked with creating the brand and the packaging of the biscuit, but when Tom’s suggestions of an ‘emergency biscuit’ came to light, Susan raised her eyebrow and dismissed the concept as ‘a bit lame’. Donning her makeup and preparing for her day ahead with Zoe, Susan optimistically stated, ‘When it comes to biscuits I think we’ll be roughly on the same level’, but when describing what she thought of Zoe on a personal level, Susan muttered a few mild expletives and nearly stabbed herself with her mascara. Despite Susan’s forthright assertion, the two came together like custard and cream and successfully produced the branding and logo for their ‘high end biscuit’, which Susan suggested they call ‘Bix Mix’.

In the boardroom it was announced that none of the major supermarkets had placed an order for their product, despite them loving the idea of sharing a biscuit. Accusations flew and Zoe identified the Product Team as being at fault. Susan wasn’t brought back into the boardroom, but will never look at a children’s biscuit in the same way ever again.

 

Episode Eight: Do the French like their children?

 

Although admitting that she knew very little about France and the French, Susan put herself up for Project Manager, stating, ‘In my line of business I do a lot of product selection’. Selection seemed to be Susan’s forte as she quickly identified what products would be best to sell to her Parisian market. If selection was her strength then, sadly, knowledge on France wasn’t. Wondering what the mythical France could be like, Susan asked herself a number of bizarre questions, such as ‘Are the French very fond of their children?’ and ‘Do a lot of people drive in France?’ When the shocked silence refused to give any answers, she went on to answer them herself, with an ‘I know nothing about the French and their culture’. Karren Brady described the whole episode as ‘Beyond stupid’ and was to bring it up in the boardroom later on. 
 
Susan agreed with the market research team’s advice and decided to go with the child’s booster seat and mobile phone grip, as the products they were going to sell. Directing her team, she went about pitching her products to major retail outlets and securing strong deals, although she couldn’t help but demonstrate her petite size by sitting in the child’s booster seat at every opportunity. 
 
Appointments done and dusted, Susan didn’t stop there and, just as the day was coming to an end, she spotted a mobile phone shop and went on to secure an impressive deal for 1500 mobile phone grips. Susan led her team to victory with a boardroom record of sales worth over €200,000 and, after her well deserved treat, she went off to ponder whether the English like breathing. 
 

  

Episode Seven: Open your mouse trap…

 

When the target market of ‘over 60s’ was suggested, Susan worried, ‘I don’t know how seriously they’re going to take us’. It seems that she may have had a point, as when Susan and Glenn pitched their magazine names to the over 60s focus group, they found some of the suggestions so ridiculous that they howled with laughter and called them ‘All horrible’. A sensible, trendy, intelligent title was needed, so when the name ‘Hip Replacement’ was selected by the team, Susan agreed to give her support, but admitted that she didn’t like it.  

Susan put her skills to work directing the ‘Hip Replacement’ photo shoot, asking her over 60s models to give each other piggy backs, don boxing gloves and balance precariously on a bicycle until the perfect image was found. When asked by Jim, who was ‘buzzing’ to do the pitch, Susan’s response was more of a fizzle and she gave the task back to him by saying, ‘I personally think you, Jim’. However, during the first pitch Susan showed her concern that Jim wasn’t negotiating properly and tackled him by saying, ‘I’m just worried that we are being too greedy about the prices’, which was met with a blunt, ‘They’re buyers, they drive a hard bargain’ from Jim. 

Team Venture failed to sell as much advertising space as Team Logic and Jim decided to bring Susan back into the boardroom on ‘contribution and cowardliness’. Susan was accused of being a ‘mouse’ and ‘Bambi’ by Jim, to which she hit back with, ‘I have my own business. That’s something these two can’t say for themselves’. Coined ‘the mouse that roared’ by Lord Sugar, Susan wasn’t fired, but will be kept away from the cheeseboard on future tasks.  

 

Episode Six: Susan’s removal ban…

 

Although she admitted that she had no experience for the role, Susan put herself up for Project Manager, but got kiboshed by Zoe, who gallantly decided that she would be the one to do it. At the first commercial pitch, Susan’s constant questions angered Zoe and before the end of the session Susan was left to deal with a barrage of, ‘I genuinely know as much as you do’ and ‘It’s not simple as you wouldn’t have asked the question’.

And things didn’t improve at the second pitch when Susan questioned Zoe’s quote by saying, ‘I don’t know if this price is competitive enough’ and pointed out that the team should be buying the furniture, not charging to remove it. When shot down in a ball of flames by Zoe, all Susan could say was that,‘I feel like the biggest idiot in the world right now’. It was revealed that they had lost both the pitches because they had charged for removal, to which Susan retorted, ‘So he did want money for the furniture, so I’m not an idiot’.
 
Even though Susan closed an impressive deal on several copper cylinders, Team Venture lost the task and Susan was brought back into the boardroom. When more arguing ensued, Nick interrupted and said, ‘You cave in too fast to weightier voices, because I think sometimes you talk great sense, but you don’t push your point strongly enough’. Susan wasn’t fired, but will be bringing a bulldozer style approach to the next task. 

 

Episode Five: You gotta have faith…

 

Based on team Venture, Susan showed some concern at the lack of structure of the brainstorming session and even a little confusion over who the product would be targeted at, when she asked Glenn, ‘So that’s what we’re going for, dietary’?

Susan went ahead with making the ingredients for the cat food, but by her own admission she declared, ‘That looks absolutely revolting’. She then went on to help design the logo, albeit with a slightly worried look on her face. 
 
When Leon doubted Glenn’s reasons for giving him the pitch, suggesting it was a ‘tactical move’, Susan looked shocked and tried to comfort him with a, ‘He’s not going to chose you without thinking you’re the best, so have faith’. But Susan’s faith wasn’t present when Leon fumbled his way through the presentation and she could only greet him afterwards with a flat, ‘It was fine’. Team Venture won the task and Susan went off to add tennis lessons to her growing list of treats. 

 

Episode Four: Lotion Emotion

 

Susan started the task confidently stating, ‘I’m so happy about this task, it’s what I’m good at, selling beauty products’, to which Project Manager Zoe replied ‘the reason we can’t lose has gone up sky high’. There were more verbal high fives when choosing the products. Zoe asked Susan to showcase her experience and Susan happily stated, ‘I sell skin care products for a living and I’m confident we can sell this’, a statement which paid off when the tanning company went with Venture over team Logic. 

However, there were some serious streaks in Susan’s tan plan when she was faced with giving advice on how many tanning lotions the team should buy. Telling Zoe that she was being modest with the figures, as she could sell ‘three tanning products in an hour’, Zoe acted cautiously and after a fair amount of chin rubbing decided not follow Susan’s advice and bulk buy the lotion. 
 
During the midway stocktake, Edna admitted that sales were going slowly and told Zoe ‘Susie is probably struggling a little bit. She’s only sold about three of the tan lotions’. This was enough to make Zoe march across the shop floor and demand some answers. Confronting Susan on the stock they still had to sell, Zoe told her ‘you’ve made your bed Susan, now you’ve got to lie in it’. Susan’s miscalculation was brought up in the boardroom, but as the team had won the task, she was able to go back to the house and search out that calculator. 
 

 

Episode Three: Susan at the helm

 

Susan put herself up to be team leader of Venture and was enthusiastically accepted by her other team members. She got off to a strong start, splitting her team in two and identifying eight of the items on the list. 

Whilst overseeing the task, Nick Hewer showed that he too was impressed by claiming, ‘She’s quite the little force to be reckoned with’. Annoyingly for Susan, this strong start was marred by a few hold ups in the top hat shop. Unable to negotiate a price on the hat, they decided to try another shop but it was quickly made clear that milliners do not barter and she purchased the item with a mere penny discount. 
 
However, her team seemed very pleased with her managerial skills and when asked if she was a good project manager, they nodded in unison. Susan took her team to victory with £8 profit over team Logic. Now all she has to do is prove Nick right. 
 

Episode Two: Shut App

 

When asked for ideas for the mobile phone App, Susan excitedly tried to explain her concept to the rest of the team. After a garbled idea, loosely based on ‘two people sitting next to each other’, Edna silenced her, saying the idea was too ‘confusing, Susan’ and that ‘there wasn’t enough time to hear it, Susan’.

Susan wasn’t happy and let her thoughts be known to the other girls, who weren’t very interested. Despite admitting she wasn’t confident about the App and thinking her team where heading ‘for a bit of a disaster’, Susan set about recording the sounds that would feature on the Ampi-App. A ‘surprise’, a ‘mooing cow’ and a pretend argument later she was ready to help promote it.

In the boardroom it wasn’t without surprise that Susan hinted that she hadn’t really been behind the product. Naturally though, she was still delighted when it was announced that the girls had won and went back to the house to enjoy her treat.

Susan was on wining team Venture.
App Downloads after 6 hours: just under 1000
Total downloads after 24 hrs: 10667

Episode One: Taking stock of the situation…

Susan admitted that people can sometimes underestimate her, but when ‘she does business she means business’. She set about proving this by securing the first major deal for the girls’ team at the fruit market.

Susan questioned the decision not to invest the whole of Lord Sugar’s money into stock when she realised that they weren’t going to meet their fruit pot forecast. However, despite raising it with her Project Manager, her concerns fell on deaf ears. Fruit may be Susan’s forte, as she showed a strong sales ability, selling out of all the products she had and approaching her customers with a winning smile.

After the girls had won the task on the fruit sales and Lord Sugar had questioned why his full investment hadn’t been used, Susan was able to return to the house with a victory and maybe the odd ‘I told you so’ under her belt.

Susan was on the winning team Venture. Their total profit was £592.

About Susan

Born in Shanghai, adrenaline junkie Susan moved to Australia at the age of six before eventually settling in London aged 13. With her mum having no grasp of English, Susan succeeded in getting herself into a school despite her young age and went on to study Philosophy and Economics at University.

Her first ever job was working on a market stall selling skin care products which she has now turned into a lucrative business.

 

I'm very easy to talk to, I'm very enthusiastic, I'm very easily amused as well


Catch Up

Lord Sugar, Series 5

Relive Series 6

Where business supremo Lord Sugar tested a group of eager candidates in a series of gruelling business tasks.

06 Oct 2010

Next on TV

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Series 6

Lord Sugar returns to our screens with the next batch of hopefuls competing to be his new apprentice.

06 Oct 2010

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