In this series we will look at the true story about Eny Engriyani, the current manager of TBI Kuningan. We have avoided covering her complicity with the TBI Mafia until now, though it was mentioned in passing by the teacher testimonial of former Kuningan expat teacher “Lipi”. In her 5 part report on TBI Kuningan “Lipi” mentioned various lies that were told to her by Eny in Eny’s takeover of TBI Kuningan. But what we aim to do here is take the story of Eny back to the beginning and expose her important and little-known role in the end of the expat manager (as engineered by Ashley Platts and Luke Preece in conjunction with Head Office).
To understand the role of Eny in the end of the expat manager, we have to go back to 2009 when the plan to end the expat manager was already well advanced but also experiencing severe teething problems. You see by the end of 2009, many of the schools which had opened with (or changed to) Indonesian managers were struggling and some of the franchise owners were starting to question the wisdom of Ashley’s plan to get rid of all expats besides himself. You want some examples? TBI Semarang had opened with an Indonesian manager called Helmy V. who had allegedly looted the marketing budget to the value of Rp 75.000.000. When Helmy was removed from Semarang in April 2009, he was moved to TBI Kelapa Gading but his crimes in Semarang were hushed up. Helmy V. then looted Kelapa Gading as well (I was told so in person by the owner) and Helmy was fired by September 2009 from there too. When the franchise owners of KG found out that a known thief had been recommended by Retty (she was allegedly a relative of Helmy V.) the owners of KG refused to speak to Head Office for several months and also spoke to other franchise owners about what had happened.
This complaint had undermined the credibility of Head Office with the franchise owners and a freeze was placed on new franchises for a while. Cameron was in a meeting of managers where the USG Director Ning Anhar said, “Franchise schools are freezed until we learn how to do them properly.” We would argue that point still has not been reached. You see Semarang and Kelapa Gading were just the tip of the iceberg. TBI Serpong never really took off either. It burnt through 4 different Indonesian school managers in its first 3 years in business. TBI Bogor’s owner refused to go along with the Indonesianization of management plan and he held out with an expat manager as late as 2011 despite intense pressure from Platts to fire RD, the Australian manager of that school. The problems went further than that. TBI Paskal had had 400 plus students at one point but after it had become a franchise school (sold off in a fire sale in 2007), student numbers fell to as low as 200 students (according to Preece) and it was another example of a franchise school with an ineffective local manager.
Indeed discontent with the implementation of the Indonesian manager plan was so severe that by August 2010 Ning Anhar had ordered “a freeze” on new franchise schools until the problem was fixed. This culminated in Luke Preece’s removal of Retty as Head of Franchise sometime in the second half of 2010. Franchise owners had been refusing to deal with Mariam- a known liar- by this point and TBI was in another crisis. Ashley’s plan to ‘save TBI’ by getting rid of all the expats had drifted into stormy waters and his buddy Mariam was facing unprecedented levels of criticism from the franchise owners. But yet another Platts plan was already underway to save the dismal record of the local manager (at that point). Mariam and Ashley were already out to prove that an Indonesian manager could achieve great success. To this purpose they had recruited Eny (who has a MBA) and they armed her with a secret weapon as well. It is this little known super-weapon which we will discuss tomorrow.