Syed Ahmed

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For the Indian politician, see Syed Ahmed (politician). For other uses, see Syed Ahmed (disambiguation).
Syed Ahmed
Ahmed in 2007
Native name সৈয়দ আহমেদ
Born (1974-09-17) 17 September 1974 (age 41)
Sylhet, Bangladesh
Nationality British
Ethnicity Bengali
Alma mater Sir John Cass Redcoat School
Ealing, Hammersmith and West
Known for Candidate on The Apprentice
Religion Islam
Awards Quiet mark award (for his company's progression in the hand dryer industries.)

Syed Ahmed (Bengali: সৈয়দ আহমেদ; born 17 September 1974) is a Bangladeshi-born British entrepreneur, businessman and television personality.[1] He is the founder and CEO of the British design and manufacturing hand dryer company SAVortex. He is best known for being a contestant in the 2006 series of The Apprentice, where he was fired in Week 10.


Ahmed was born in Sylhet, Bangladesh.[2][3] When he was nine months old,[4] he moved with his parents to England and was brought up in East London[5][6] in a devout Muslim family.[7] He attended the Sir John Cass Redcoat School in Stepney from the age of 11 to 17 achieving 7 GCSEs. He then attended the Hammersmith College, where he achieved a BTEC in Business and Finance. He later managed restaurants, including the Titanic, part of the White Starline Group, owned by Marco Pierre White.[2][8] He was in the Air Training Corps and dreamed of becoming an RAF pilot but decided to go into business instead.[9]

Ahmed is currently the CEO of SAVortex, which specialises in high-speed, energy efficient hand dryers.[10] Ahmed's development of the SAVortex technology was shown in an hour-long documentary, Hot Air, broadcast on Sky. Ahmed initially financed the business himself.[11] Ahmed was a director of the IT recruitment consultancy firm IT People until May 2006, and a director of Magenta Partnerships Limited from June 2006 until February 2007.

He has made speeches to the young business enterprise community,[12][13] and the more general enterprise community in Britain.[14]

The Apprentice[edit]

Further information: The Apprentice (UK series two)

Ahmed appeared as a candidate in series two of The Apprentice, a British reality television show hosted by Lord Alan Sugar. The series was broadcast from February to May 2006. On the show Ahmed was a member of the "Invicta" team. He was a notable candidate on the show, but was fired in week 10.

One of his quotes on the show was a "£100,000 salary is not enough but it's a good place to start."[15]

Post Apprentice[edit]

Ahmed appeared on Sky News as a paper reviewer – reviewing current and forthcoming newspapers in a celebrity panel. He also has appeared on interviews, at BBC Breakfast with candidate Jo Cameron on the BBC,[16] and also at GMTV on ITV.[17] He appeared on Sky One's program called The Match, where 80 celebrities take part to win a place in a celebrity football squad.[18] Ahmed again appeared on another Sky One show, called Cirque de Celebrité (from October 2006), featuring celebrity circus acts, and he was voted off in the second week. He subsequently returned as a guest judge.[19]

A Sky One documentary (from June 2007) called, Syed Ahmed - Hot Air?, featured Ahmed attempting to launch a new company which specialised in hand and body dryers, with £20,000 of his own money, to develop in three months.[20][21][22] The program followed the launch of the SA Vortex's hand dryer products.[23]

In December 2010, Ahmed was a host at the Spice times Restaurant Awards in Romford, Greater London. [24]

Charity work[edit]

In 2008, Ahmed organised and led a race in support of a breast cancer charity.[25] He also sends money to families and charities located in Bangladesh.[4] Ahmed was one of the four contestants with Secret Millionaires, who attended the Geared for Giving campaign to help promote the Workplace Giving, on May 2009.[26] Ahmed also took part in a charity relay to raise money for children in Gaza. Gaza100, was held on 24 May 2009 in Mile End Park, east London, attracting over 1,500 people, which included also Apprentice candidates, Ghazal Asif and Tre Azam.He has also raised money from climbing a mountain and sent that money to Bangladesh villages water pumps for nice lush clean water [27]

Awards and nominations[edit]

In January 2015, he was nominated for the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the British Muslim Awards.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Monkey goes to the National TV Awards". London: Guardian. 2006-11-01. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  2. ^ a b Ian Wylie (2006-02-08). "Sugar begins hunt for new Apprentice". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  3. ^ "Media troubling Apprentice stars". BBC News (BBC). 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2009-05-01. 
  4. ^ a b Ali Hussain (2006-08-21). "Apprentice star gets a taste for the high life (Page 1)". London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  5. ^ "Yes, Ahm so happy". London: The Sun. 2006-07-22. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  6. ^ Tamara Zaman (2008-10-16). "British Bangladeshis who have made a mark". New Age Xtra. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  7. ^ Michelle Dewberry (2007-02-19). "My love for Syed tore me apart". London: The Daily Mail. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  8. ^ "The Apprentice series two meets the boys". BBC (Press Office). 2006-07-02. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  9. ^ Natalie Clarke (2006-08-11). "Yes we're Apprentice parents". London: The Daily Mail. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  10. ^ "SAVortex Presentation" (PDF). SA Vortex. Retrieved 2015-12-29. 
  11. ^ Nick Levine (2006-02-18). "Syed Ahmed". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  12. ^ "Report on Isle of Wight Young Chamber Conference 2006". Young Chamber. 2006. Archived from the original on 2009-09-05. Retrieved 2009-05-01. 
  13. ^ "University of Oxford Special: Oxford University’s Trading Places". MCC. 2008-04-28. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  14. ^ "Herts Connections - Syed Ahmed". (Blog). 2008-09-08. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  15. ^ Haigh, Gerald (2008). Inspirational, and Cautionary Tales for Would-be School Leaders: Tales for Would-be School Leaders. Routledge. p. 138. 
  16. ^ BBC Breakfast (2006-05-10). "You're fired...". BBC. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  17. ^ "Apprentice star 'protecting' Michelle from media". Evening Standard (London). 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  18. ^ "Badger's big idea lands her a TV show". London: The Daily Mail. 2006-08-16. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  19. ^ "Best and worst of The Apprentice - Syed Ahmed". Virgin Media. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  20. ^ Leigh Holmwood (2007-04-26). "Syed pays for body warmer". London: The Sun. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  21. ^ Lucy Mangan (2007-06-20). "Last night's TV: Syed Ahmed - Hot Air?". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  22. ^ "Syed Ahmed - Hot Air". Twofour Broadcast. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  23. ^ Louise Snell. "Syed Ahmed - Hot Air". Asian Business Federation. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  24. ^ Spice Times Press Release. "Syed Ahmed Host". Spice Times Publishing Ltd. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 
  25. ^ "Sir Alan Sugar's Apprentices Line Up For The 2008 Standard Chartered Great City Race In Aid Of Breakthrough Breast Cancer" (PDF). Standard Chartered. 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  26. ^ "Apprentices and Secret Millionaires get Geared for Giving". Geared For Giving. 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  27. ^ "Charity relay sets world record". BBC News (BBC). 2009-05-24. Retrieved 2009-06-07. 
  28. ^ "British Muslim Awards 2015 finalists unveiled". Asian Image. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 

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