Boardroom blitz! Sir Alan raises the bar as The Apprentice moves to BBC One
Meet the boys
Qualifications: 2 A-Levels
Career: Marketing and Design Consultant
Home town: Loughton, Essex
Profile: Forthright, opinionated and a bit of a maverick, Tre is a tough hard worker who knows what he wants and is determined to get it. He started work aged 10, building PCs in his father's factory. By the age of 16 he was teaching clients how to build computers and training them in electronics and software. At 17 he was working in his family's software and hardware business in Europe and Asia before moving to America where he ran the company for more than two years. In his teens he spent over a year in hospital recovering from a serious car accident which left him in a wheelchair, however he is now fully recovered. His hobbies include weights, boxing, martial arts and philosophy.
He says: "I've applied for The Apprentice because it will give me the opportunity to put myself up against some of the best in the country."
Qualifications: BA Hons Product Design
Career: Bankrupt Entrepreneur
Home town: Bristol
Profile: Previously bankrupted, Rory is a self-confessed risk-taker who has been through a lot in his short time in business, having employed more than 700 staff across his earlier three companies. He currently works as a waiter but has great ambition and drive and keeps bouncing back. He supplied public school-educated staff to run bars and events at Henley Regatta and Cowes Week. His first job was plucking turkeys during the Christmas holidays. As a student he made his own brand of elderflower wine at school and sold it to the other pupils.
He says: "People say to me, 'learn from your experiences', well I'm bored of learning from experience, I've had enough of them. It's time now to cash in on it."
Qualifications: Diploma Retail Management
Career: Car Sales manager
Home town: Kirriemuir, Scotland
Profile: Father–of–three car salesman Andy is originally from Leeds but now resides in Scotland. In his spare time Andy plays online poker, buys and sells cars and trades on eBay – in fact any activity where he can buy, sell and make a profit. His first money-making venture was aged five selling firewood to people on his council estate. Whilst at school Andy worked part time for Woolworths.
He says: "My passions are winning, winning and winning."
Qualifications: MA Economics, Cambridge
Career: Internet Entrepreneur
Home town: Clapham, London
Profile: Highly competitive, proud and ambitious, Simon can speak six different languages and says he achieves his best work under pressure. He was made redundant from his last job as an investment banker, and has since tried his hand at a number of internet-based, entrepreneurial ideas. He'll stop at nothing to get what he wants; he once booked a table for 10 at a top celebrity eatery by posing as a Manchester United football agent. His first job was assisting in a discount jewellery shop where he was trained to differentiate between real and fake diamonds by judging their weight in carats – a skill he still has. At university Simon tried his has hand at acting and even performed at the famous Cambridge Footlights. He enjoys yachting, karate and kite boarding.
He says: "My Dad bought me an Amstrad PC when I was six and I learned how to program it. I still have it. It will be a dream come true if I end up working for him."
Qualifications: BSc Engineering Physics
Career: Ex-Army Lieutenant
Home town: Southampton
Profile: Graduating from the rigorous Sandhurst Royal Military Academy which encompassed command leadership and management training, he became HR and Resource Manager for the Army and was in charge of recruiting potential officers into the Royal Artillery. He was posted to Iraq as Infantry Commander and spent six months serving in Basra. His time in the military has taught him cool, calm and collected leadership and he has no time for dilly-dallying. His first job was selling jumpers on his parents market stall. A real smooth player his hobbies include sky diving, polo, skiing and yachting and his biggest fear is being eaten by a shark.
He says: "My lack of commercial experience might be a weakness but my leadership and organisational qualities are definite strengths."
Qualifications: BSc Product Design
Career: Company Director
Home town: Egham, Surrey
Profile: When everyone else is pulling their hair out Iftikhar (or Ifti to his friends) is confident, focused and hard-working. He built his tile business from scratch, starting with just half a tile, and believes that, as a salesman, no-one can match him. In his previous years he was a police officer (with the "highest arrest record of any trainee in Woking"), taught children with learning difficulties, tried his hand at tele-marketing and worked as an estate agent. He has a black belt in martial arts and was a double bronze medallist at the Tae Kwon Do World Championships in Athens in 1993. He is currently applying to join the 2012 Olympic team. If he doesn't win The Apprentice he has his heart set on owning his own leisure centre.
He says: "When you can break bricks with your hands you believe in your head you can do anything and in business I take on the same ethic."
Qualifications: BA Hons, Sport Managment
Career: Car Sales Manager
Home town: Blackburn, Lancs
Profile: Adam comes from a single–parent family on a council estate in Blackburn and now earns three times the salary of the kids he went to school with. Aged 12, Adam ran a fantasy football league on his estate and charged people a pound a go. His first job was stacking shelves in a supermarket which paid for him to pass his driving test and buy his first car. His "best job ever" was selling match programmes at Blackburn Rovers where he usually managed to sell them all in half an hour to drunken away fans. In his spare time he coaches football to the local under-16s and enjoys motor-racing. His ambition is to run an internationally successful company.
He says: "My strengths and weaknesses are often the same thing, on occasion my confidence can become arrogance."
Qualifications: Bachelor Of Commerce
Career: Telecoms Manager
Home town: London
Profile: Lohit is a cool rational thinker with natural flair. He was born in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and has since travelled widely, becoming a resident in five different countries. He gained a Bachelor in Commerce and Science from Auckland University, New Zealand. His first real office job was sorting mail at a telecommunications company when he was 17, but he resigned after three hours because it was too boring. He started a company when he was 16 making commemorative towels.
He says: "I would like people to see me as the nice guy – my game plan is to be myself and get on with things."