Alan Sugar fired me from The Apprentice – now I'm set to make my first million
A SCOT booted from The Apprentice is set for a seven figure salary 15 years after guaranteeing she’d be a millionaire on the hit show.
Ghazal Asif, from Glasgow, was the programme’s youngest ever contender when she joined the cast of the third series aged 23 in 2007.
She was the ninth person to be fired by Lord Sugar in the same season that saw controversial far-right commentator Katie Hopkins, 46, quit after the interviews stage.
After promising she’d be a millionaire by the time she turned 30, Ghazal is actually about to reach her goal before 40 after a hugely successful tech career that took her to Silicon Valley.
The businesswoman is now head of channel sales with Google for Europe, the Middle East and Africa after her stint in San Francisco.
Recently engaged Ghazal, 37, says: “I need to go back in time and say I was going to be a millionaire by the time I’m 40, not 30.
“I’m on track for a seven figure income next year and I couldn’t have ever dreamed of that.
“I do think with age and experience that you realise money is the byproduct of being really good at what you’re doing.
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“I look back and realise I was so young. Even when I occasionally search for myself and see some of the things I said, I feel I could talk the talk but couldn’t walk the walk.
“I had the gift of the gab but The Apprentice made me realise I needed experience and that’s what I think I gained especially going into Silicon Valley.
“Now I’ve gained the experience to back up my talk and that’s why I’ve had such an incredible career post-The Apprentice.”
'I'M GLAD I DIDN'T WIN'
Ghazal is also glad she was sacked from the show instead of winning it.
Immediately after being fired she set up her dream designer fashion business. But after it all went pear-shaped, she was forced to find another future.
She says: “I thought I’d go into fashion. I took a stab at my own designer label and, after running that business for two years, ran into huge operational and cash flow problems and went back into technology.
“I’ll always love fashion but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to build your career from it. A passion can just be a passion.
“I don’t think I’d be where I am now if it wasn’t for The Apprentice.
"It allowed me to go to London, I left my job for filming and when I went back they told me they wanted me to do the job in London.
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“I’m glad I stayed on the show as long as I did but I’m also glad I got kicked out when I did.
“I was still young so got my head down and filled the gaps in my experience and it gave me the courage to start my own business.
“I’m glad I didn’t win because I think I learned more from not winning the show.”
But while Ghazal looks back on her experiences fondly, she can’t say the same about memories of Katie Hopkins.
She thought that the controversial figure was nice but quickly realised there was more than meets the eye.
The Scot says: “My gut feeling on her, even though she was really nice to me in person, was that something wasn’t right because of how she spoke about people on camera.
“You know someone so vindictive is capable of far worse.
“I’ve been very angry watching and reading about her – how do you have the guts to be such an evil and awful human being and feel like you’re doing good in life?
“She had a huge platform after The Apprentice and still has one now and has used it in all the wrong ways.”
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