Most of our readers will not know who Reza Suriansha is. While CL has met him a small number of times, SW never has, and SW managed a TBI Franchise School for 2 and a half years. Clearly, Reza is not a man who has much to do with TBI in terms of daily operations, but he is does have an important job in the corrupt little fiefdom of USG-TBI. Until April 2012 he was the Head of Finance and hence responsible for the murky world of ‘management fees’ and ‘special projects’ which gobble up hundreds of millions of rupiah of TBI profits every month. Oh, and in case you are wondering, everything we have heard about him from Luke Preece suggests he is very, very crooked. Are you surprised?
The Finance Department of companies is often a world unto itself. Staffed with people with a talent for mathematics, they keep to themselves, crunching numbers and producing spreadsheets and other data for senior management. They fall into the ‘behind the scenes’ category. However, in a company like TBI, wracked with corruption and nepotism, you might imagine that being a finance officer at TBI or USG also requires a willingness to do some ‘creative accounting’ and this very much seemed to be the case with Pak Reza (as the USG types deferentially call him.)
Once CL became school manager of TBI Sudirman, he noticed that there often large discrepancies on the financial reports compiled by Reza Suriansha and his team. These were not piddling sums. Several times in 2010 Cam noticed mistakes totaling between Rp 20.000.000 and Rp 40.000.000 rupiah. He complained to Luke and a half-arsed apology would come back which went something like, “Maaf Pak, salah input.” Now call us crazy, but we would think a finance officer entering the wrong ‘data’ to the value of several thousand US dollars would be a massive problem if it had happened once. Cam, with no financial training whatsoever, noticed several such mistakes and was correct that the numbers didn’t add up. Luke Preece got back to Cam and eventually told him not to worry about the financial data and just to focus on increasing student numbers. (This was the instruction Cam was given for 2 years and then after he increased student numbers by 180 students at Kuningan in a single year, he was told it counted for nothing, because Matthew and Colm hated him!)
These errors were not the end of it. There were massive ‘contributions’ and ‘management fees’ taken out of TBI revenue from time to time, with no other explanation except these vague terms. These would often total tens of millions of rupiah. It should be mentioned that no one from USG even came into the school in the month these ‘management fees’ were extracted and when explanations were asked for, nothing concrete was ever explained. (We will offer numerous screen dumps of odd TBI charges on spreadsheets in the coming weeks.)
In other words, there is no conjecture involved here. We have already printed one email where one of Reza’s team apologized for screwing up the data by tens of millions of rupiah. You might say who cares, but TBI teachers should realize that these ‘data entry errors’ were happening at the same time as TBI Kuningan was refusing to buy new furniture and computers and resources for TBI schools. A thirty million rupiah error would have been enough to equip half the TBI Kuningan computer lab with new PCs. This kind of corruption directly impacts on your experience as a teacher and the learning experiences of your students. CL campaigned for 2 years for a better deal for TBI students and has earned nothing but vilification for his efforts.
We will offer more background on Reza Suriansha this week, but first let us mention that in April 2012, the same month Luke Preece stooge Scott Martin was ousted from TBI’s biggest school, Jalan Riau, Reza received a large promotion. He became the COO, the Chief Organizing Officer. (These TBI types love magnificent-sounding titles which are as large as their own inflated egos. I mean , really, it’s just a chain of mostly loss-making language schools!)
There is every reason to believe that Reza’s promotion, in conjunction with Scott being cast out to a franchise school (and hence no longer even an employee of USG), was a slap in the face for the shame that Preece had brought on TBI with his botched coup against CL and this resultant blog. Before April 2012, Luke had only Mariam above him in the TBI fish pond. Since April, Reza has broken out of the Finance bubble and is now acting in a more supervisory capacity over the whole group. Reza now oversees Luke Preece in addition to Mariam. There are more eyes watching this ‘loose cannon’ of the ESL scene. Angered by the storm of controversy Preece unleashed on the company, USG has sought to bring Luke Preece down to size, throwing out his number one crony, Scott Martin, and putting another layer of management and supervision over his doings.
The vitriolic hatred which Preece has sprayed against us through various online blogs and aliases has probably been motivated by the way this blog has cut down his power and influence within TBI and USG little by little. However, since Decemeber 2012, this ‘scaling down’ of the vindictive Luke Preece has reached new levels. When Luke and Mariam, acting as a single cold-blooded team as always, insisted that the TBI Malang school manager resign and lie that it was his own idea, one of TBI’s major investors rebelled against their mafia style and threw TBI out of Malang. In the wake of this typical Preece-Kartikatresni disaster, it was Pak ‘Salah Input’ Reza who flew to Malang on a begging mission. We will cover that ‘egg on face’ fiasco next week.