The Apprentice’s Avi Sharma: From Barclays To The BBC

Photo of Avi
Vivika Sahajpal

Throughout Season 17 of The Apprentice, we’ve come to love the candidates, following them through their journey on the show and in their endeavours after. Vivika Sahajpal was fortunate enough to interview Avi Sharma, getting an insight into his enlightening experiences before and on The Apprentice, including his time at the University of Nottingham.

With an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age, Avi only got more ambitious during his time at UoN, eventually channelling that ambition into Avi TV and The Apprentice, but not before tasting the lucrative world of London banking. Growing up in a big family, he began selling his possessions to younger siblings, upgrading to sweets and then buying and making a profit on clothes at school.

This mindset only increased at University where Avi, working alongside a Computer Science student, started a ticket business for CRISIS, the biggest student night of the week. Essentially, they purchased thousands of tickets at once using an algorithm and were able to sell them at crazy prices because of the immense demand. We joked about his time at Nottingham as he reminisced over the years he’d spent here including working on ‘Disputed’, the radio show he did with his friends, living in halls, and clubbing three nights a week.

Barclays gave him a decision to make: choose either the job or the show, keeping both wasn’t an option

After earning himself a 2:1 in BSc Economics, Avi went on to a demanding job at Barclays in Canary Wharf with incredibly long, draining hours, but an impressive salary that kept him there. That was until The Apprentice presented itself as a welcome escape. However, there was a catch. Barclays gave him a decision to make: choose either the job or the show, keeping both wasn’t an option.

Whilst working at Barclays, and as he gained confidence, Avi had created and launched his own personal brand Avi TV, where he wanted to pass on knowledge of business and wealth, and impart his wisdom. Considering he was dreaming of pursuing Avi TV full-time, he said leaving the security and salary of his Barclays banking job was a lot easier than it seemed, especially when the opportunity of The Apprentice was right in front of him and could be the key to taking Avi TV to the next level. Looking back at his career before the show, Avi even said he would’ve left banking much earlier if given the chance.

Avi’s time on The Apprentice was characterised by an uplifting, optimistic attitude, hilarious friendships with the other candidates, and a drive to win as many tasks as possible – but that was all from an audience perspective. I asked Avi how he would summarise his time on the show in three words or phrases; the three that first came to mind were ‘alone’, ‘growth’ and ‘rise and shine’.

The Apprentice taught him to confidently voice his thoughts

He elaborated by describing the fact that whilst the candidates all formed really close relationships, at the end of the day, they were each on their own journey trying to reach their potential and, especially at the start, there was definitely a clear sense that he was alone in this part of his journey. For ‘growth’, he described how The Apprentice pushed him out of his comfort zone and constantly pushed him to think critically and innovatively. Lastly, we discussed why ‘rise and shine’ came to mind and Avi explained how the atmosphere on the show is one of constant action and excitement, from the moment they’re woken up at the crack of dawn to the second they leave the boardroom.

The ups and downs of the show pushed him to new standards and new levels of growth. I asked Avi what he would say the main thing he learnt from the experience was and what advice he would give. Targeting his advice to those in a similar position to where he was, he discussed how naturally, in the finance world, when you’re in meetings with people so much higher up than you, it’s intuitive to stay quiet and listen. Avi said The Apprentice taught him to confidently voice his thoughts even when he was in a room with people more experienced in some areas than him.

From selling sweets on the playground to selling tickets during ‘the best years of his life’ at Nottingham, Avi Sharma has gone from strength to strength with his entrepreneurial pursuits, including, with the help of The Apprentice, earning himself the position he’s in now. This position of influence and strength with the growth of Avi TV has given him a platform to educate and empower, doing what he loves and encouraging more people to follow their passions.

Vivika Sahajpal

Featured image courtesy of Avi Sharma. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image courtesy of @avitv_ on Instagram.com. No changes were made to this image. 

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