Tre Azam is the fiery 27 year old that famously rubbed Alan Sugar, and half his team mates, up the wrong way in series three of the apprentice. I caught up with the man to get his take on the show and life ever since.
What are you doing these days?
I have a production company, Treite productions. We’ve just developed an animated series called Beats Rhyms and Life. Basically five inner city kids tackle Britain’s social problems with entertainment and humour. Its an alternative take on things. We have just been having some meetings with channel 4 to run it on their 3 minute wonder slot so watch out for it. It has been produced by professionals from around the world and you can see a promo on youtube – just search BRL comedy.
What else are you up to?
I have a Spar/Salon opening in Hackney in four months; I am still running my own marketing and brand Consultancy Company and do a bit of public speaking.
What has life been like since the apprentice?
It has been mad. I don’t really remember the last two years. It has brought many opportunities, responsibilities and troubles too. People see you as a role model and you have to maintain your reputation as it is very fragile. It has changed my thinking too – I have always seen the world for what it was but I think the apprentice has fine tuned my skills.
The celebrity side is fun but it can be a pain in the arse. Getting the tube at 6am and having some annoying guy on the central line talking to you about the apprentice and then asking for a picture, which you know is going to be on facebook – you feel like saying, “give me a break man.”
What was Alan Sugar really like?
I have been asked this a lot of times. The truth is that I didn’t like him. I admire him for what he does and achieved but he gives criticism that he doesn’t back up.
On the last night he took us to dinner. I was fortunate enough to sit next to him and I was asking him about business but he kept coming back to money. I asked him what was needed to succeed in business and he said focus. But then he kept banging on about the money he makes and how many millions he has spent on this project, and how many millions he earned last year. I was like, for fuck’s sake – we know you’re the richest man on the table, please talk about something else. I meet a lot of business people these days and some of them never stop talking about money. I find that very unappealing.
When he sacked you he said that he found you too aggressive and unmanageable. What is your take on that?
He’s probably right, ha ha. I don’t like bad management and don’t suffer fools. I don’t try and please everyone – I don’t want to, it’s too much hard work.
No. I didn’t want to win the show in the first place. The master plan was to get on and get some publicity. I didn’t want to win because I didn’t want the job. I wasn’t going to be Alan Sugar’s, or anyone else’s dancing monkey, ever.
What advice do you have for anyone that wants to emulate your success?
Learning, education and stopping relating success to money – those are the most important things.
I never had many qualifications on paper, but I still say that education is important. It is my biggest regret that I never finished university. Business is hard work so you might as well enjoy life as much as you can, and study if you get the chance. I hate it when people talk about nothing but success and don’t enjoy their life because they spend it working all the time. You could die the day you become successful and not have enjoyed a minute of it. Spend time with you family and do things you enjoy. I like doing crazy shit like desert quad biking and bungee jumping.
Also, the world is competitive, and you really have to step up to the plate, especially when it matters, but not loose yourself in the process.