How Do We Know About TBI’s Competitors?

Where on earth did you source these perfectly rounded numbers from?

The TBI defenders crew are back with silly, distracting troll comments in the box. The above is one of the more sensible examples, though it is still dumb. Are they really so stupid as to think that we are saying there are exactly 600 students at EF Kelapa Gading’s main branch on Bulevar Barat? No, they can’t be that dumb. They are trying to sow doubt about our sources as a smokescreen for TBI’s embarrassingly bad market performance in Jakarta. But, hey, we will bite.

First, 600 is an approximate figure. Does it matter if it is really 580 or 620? Whether it is 580 or 620 versus TBI’s 180, TBI is still being murdered. They are missing the point by quibbling about small details- a typical trolling tactic. 

As for our sources, I hired 2 different teachers at TBI Kelapa Gading who had worked at EF Kelapa Gading. They both gave me the same figure around 12 months apart. They said that EF Kelapa Gading had 600 students at its main branch. They had been in the school for 12 months, so this is insider information. EF later opened a second branch in Kelapa Gading (with the same management). My source, who now works in Malaysia, said that the second branch already had just over 200 students about six months after it opened. So these figures are sourced from teachers who had worked at EF Kelapa Gading for a long period. Based on these sources, EF had around 6 to 7 times more students in Jakarta in May 2012 than TBI. Allow a 20% margin for error in TBI’s favour and EF still has 5 times more students than TBI.

We also employed one gentleman who had previously worked at Wall Street Kelapa Gading. He was mostly complimentary about them as an employer, though said the job involved waiting around doing nothing at times. He told us that numbers fluctuated but Wall Street had around 1000 students when he was there. I know for a fact that TBI had 180 in May 2012 when a teacher I hired left. If the true numbers were 900 students or 1100 students, it just means Wall Street was 5 versus 6 times bigger than TBI. It makes no difference to the big picture we are sketching here. I also interviewed (and turned down) one former Wall Street teacher just before leaving TBI KG. He said that they had 1100 students when he left (in 2011). It is called researching your competition. I also note that Wall Street was swarming with students every time I walked past it. Wall Street’s website also notes that they reached 8000 student enrollments across their six schools during 2012. This averages over 1300 students per school. Judged on this, our estimate of WSI’s 1100 students at WS Kelapa Gading is conservative. 

Unless the TBi defenders are going to start claiming that Wall Street’s website is lying (they are prone to slandering rivals), our figures err on the side of caution. TBI has clearly lost a massive amount of market share to WSI.

3 thoughts on “How Do We Know About TBI’s Competitors?

  1. Wall Street English (WSE) is one of the world’s most successful private English language schools and currently operates in 28 countries with over 460 centers. With just 6 years in business in Jakarta, WSE’s success has been phenomenal – now over 8,000 students.

    8000 divided by 6 = 1333 students per school.

    Considering that the average TBI franchise school had around 200 students in 2011, one WSI school now has as many as 6 TBI schools. Then you look at revenue, and WSI gets Rp 10,000,000 per student. TBI charges Rp 2,700,000 for seven months of classes. So Wall Street is getting twice the revenue per student too.

    The facts speak for themselves. As for the trolling comment above, looks like Luke is on the turps again. Oh dear.

  2. Ooh. Caps lock. Scary. You don’t get to lie and deceive people at will here Luke. That is what TBI is for. Go back there tomorrow and tell the teachers you really care about them before you fire them. The latest round just happened didn’t it?

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