Monasterevin man Brian Kirwan helped to break all previous sales records on the TV3’s version of the Apprentice last Monday week, November 7.
In the boardroom showdown with boss Bill Cullen on the November 7 show, it emerged that Brian and sales partner Sandra Murphy, from Cork, had managed to sell E53,000 worth of rebranded Cadbury’s Caramello bars to the likes of well-known coffee chains and hotel groups.
In contrast, their opponents only managed to sell a paltry E700 worth of chocolate bars.
Brian, a past pupil of St Paul’s Secondary School in Monasterevin, said that helping to set the record-breaking sales figure was “a dream come true” for him.
“I was close to tears, in fairness,” he told the Leinster Leader after the show aired.
“There was so much pressure on me leading up to that task.
“I’m a sales consultant for businesses, so what I do is very much what I did on the Cadbury’s task, that is, changing direction for a product or service.
“Had I done badly I knew I was going to get fired.”
Brian, 29, whose family is originally from St Evin’s Park in Monasterevin but who now lives in Jamestown in Laois, set up his sales outsourcing company IncreSales in September of last year. He entered this year’s The Apprentice with the objective of getting Bill Cullen’s backing to expand the organisation.
“Just over three years ago I was made redundant from a job and I said to myself ‘I need to set myself a big goal...I want to be on The Apprentice and working for Bill Cullen’.”
Brian rejected the criticism he got in the boardroom last week, and on the post-programme The Apprentice - You’re Fired show, that it was his colleague Sandra who had done most of the work on the task.
He said that a huge amount of the work he put in behind the scenes, both working out pricing structures with the clients and helping his team-mates with their sales scripts, never made it to the edited television show.
Meanwhile, in last night’s show, Brian - literally - brought people to tears on the small screen when he took charge of his team’s task.
He was shown getting interviewees to cry by recalling the most emotional periods of their lives as part of a marketing campaign for a mobile phone company - a strategy he admitted himself was risky but paid off in the end.
He said that he realised he had to take a huge risk to impress Apprentice boss Cullen, but luckily it paid off. “If I go out, I wanted to go out kicking and screaming,” he said.