Interview: The Apprentice winner Ricky Martin

 Congratulations on your win, Ricky! How does it feel?

Incredible. As you can imagine, it’s all very surreal to me to finally get the opportunity to set up the business I always wanted.

What made you apply to the show in the first place?

I applied to it because I’ve always wanted to make that leap of faith to set up my own company. I’ve been in recruitment for the past six years and I’ve always wanted to go out and make a higher return on money than what I could make working for a business. Not only is getting a quarter of a million pounds during recessionary times difficult, but Lord Sugar’s involvement and his expertise made me want to get involved. I applied for the process to ultimately win it: I never would have applied to the old format only because this one offers a business partnership rather than a job.

How will your new business be different from other recruitment agencies?

The main difference in the business is that it’s focussing on supporting areas of ethical need –it’s ethical recruitment, so it’s not recruiting for everything, just the things that matter. But there are a lot of things that Lord Sugar and I need to sit down and explore before we really advertise what’s going to make it so different and unique. He’s already brought some new ideas into the business and I’ve got a few ideas, so we want to find the synergy between them.

You seem quite at home in front of the camera – would you ever consider fronting your own Apprentice style business show?

The whole showbiz element isn’t something I’m interested in right now. As a by-product of The Apprentice, there are a lot of people recognising you and wanting to speak to you but actually, I don’t really want to enhance that, I just want to get my company set up and run with that. If I can help to inspire enterprise in some way whatever that might be in the future then of course I would want to encourage that but right now having my own Apprentice type show is bottom of the list of priorities!

Lord Sugar described you as being a safe option. What did you make of that?

I think that’s absolutely fair. When Lord Sugar says ‘safe’, he means he can see my business working – I didn’t take that as an insult or a backhanded compliment. I think that’s recognition that what I’m doing tailors to what he’s looking for which is to do what you know, keep things simple and to be straight forward and that’s exactly what I offered him.

Would you encourage others to follow a similar path to you?

If they’re passionate about doing something, they should follow their heart and go for it. Without the wrestling talk, though!

Lord Sugar, Karren Brady and Nick Hewer – who would you snog, marry, and avoid?

I couldn’t possibly answer that!

This article was originally published on page 22 here

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