We have told what we know of the Eny story because we feel it has been insufficiently known until now. If Eny was as hot as people used to say when TBI Fatmawati boomed, why had she done markedly less well at Kuningan? If she was such a lionized example of business prowess, why had Fatmawati been taken off her and given to Nida? The full picture does not become clear unless you know about the 1 billion rupiah advantage.
The fact is, Eny received a marketing budget 30 to 40 times larger than any other manager when she was in her first year at Fatmawati. While Cam had to beg for enough money to print a few flyers (and then Luke’s stooge Lilies would stymie even these piddling requests most of the time), Eny was given $10,000 billboards on the freeway. As we have shown, Eny’s alleged runaway success was actually achieved by throwing unprecedented bucket-loads of cash (totalling $100,000 in a single year in 2010) at marketing efforts in Fatmawati. As we have shown, her success was bought with cash to silence critics (including franchise owners) who had started vociferously challenging Mariam’s “Indonesianization” of management policy.
Wondering why TBI Kuningan was so quiet in the first quarter of 2012? It is because Eny no longer had this massive advantage of being the beneficiary of the biggest marketing spending spree in TBI history. Her success at Fatmawati had been bought, and when the dollars (or rather rupiah) dried up, she simply didn’t do anywhere near as well. True, this was partly Preece’s fault, as he had foolishly abolished the ACTEL and corporate sales positions, all but disabling Eny’s support team at Kuningan. But it was also a function of the taps being turned off in terms of marketing dollars.
We have a number of reasons for believing that TBI Kuningan performed very poorly in the first half of 2012:
1) Students told us the school was deadly quiet from January to March 2012
2) A couple of teacher informants (long since gone) said the same thing
3) We heard that student feedback forms had also been rotten and the word “boring” was being heard more and more often
4) Mariam issued a bizarre apology to TBI customers in June 2012 for being boring and inflexible and promising to a whole new approach in the future (which validated and confirmed Point 3)
5) TBI started giving out expensive prizes in June 2012- a clear move to win back love
6) The positions that Luke had abolished in 2011 were reinstated in April 2012, showing that TBI Kuningan really did need to lift sales results and academic standards
7) Eny’s policies such as no ties and waltzing into class late were reversed (the “no standards” approach Matthew France had lobbied for was cancelled as a bad joke)
8) The TBI Director, Mariam Kartikatresni, was removed in November 2012. Would she really have been removed if TBI had had a great 2012?
All of this suggested poor performance, flip-flopping management and embarrassingly bad results.
This finally turned around by about September 2012 and TBI Kuningan has been doing well since- or at least has been busy enough.
Interestingly, student informants told us it was finally busy again by the end of August 2012 and just at this point “Michelle” mentioned student numbers for the first time since the blog started. TBI Kuningan and TBI Sudirman are “busy again” he boasted. In short, the moment student numbers were doing well, he boasted about it. In the 5 months previously when we heard they were doing poorly, he was silent about them. This matches our experience of the Preece style on every issue. You claim the credit for all successes and blame someone else or stay silent when things are going wrong.
But what we see here is interesting. If Eny’s success at Fatmawati in 2010 was bought, her recovery after a rotten first half of 2012 was also engineered. She was given 2 managers to support her after her bad start to the year and she was given ipads and other goodies to buy back student numbers with. In other words, Eny has only done well when she has been provided with lots of support and resources. While she is clearly better than someone like Nunu (who famously boasted at Kelapa Gading that he was “a lazy person” in a staff meeting in April 2012), her record is much more questionable than it appears. The strngest indication of all that she ain’t as good as they once made out is the loss of TBI Fatmawati.
You see in 2012 she managed both Fatmawati and Kuningan and in 2013 she only manages Kuningan. Also note that when “Michelle” boasted that Sudirman and Kuningan were dealing well, he didn’t mention Fatmawati, and just 4 months later she lost it. Hmmm. Now on past form they will say that we are idiots for saying that Eny has been demoted, but they are pathological liars. The facts of the matter are that she used to manage 2 schools and she now manages 1, and the other one has been palmed off to another manager. (Also an Indonesian female). Luke actually claims that Indonesian men are stupid and not to be trusted. (The real truth is that they are less passive and compliant with his stupid demands and crackpot schemes.)
We say that Eny losing Fatmawati is a clear demotion. When Chris Needham lost that school and was told to manage just Kuningan in 2009 it was made clear this was a demotion and a slap on the wrist. It is very clear they think she didn’t do a good job of managing both at once. Her star is probably on the wane.