TBI Semarang isn’t the only TBI school to have gone bankrupt. There is also the sad case of TBI Cengkareng, which went belly up around 2011. It had been slowly withering for years; someone must have lost a small fortune on their investment in this wretched school. Look at the advertising material below and you will see that the school once had 14 classroom (all with projectors). Renting a place of that size isn’t small change, even in Cengkareng. By 2009 it was down to a mere 60 students (so I was told during a farcical TBI “audit” of TBI Kelapa Gading) and by the time Luke Preece was in charge of franchise in 2011, it was down to less than 20 students! That’s almost one student per classroom! They could really have spread out!
Preece may have scoffed at this ridiculous school with its handful of students, but a more responsible manager would have known it was also a reflection on him. Didn’t he knife Retty for the Franchise Manager job on the pretext of wanting to help these struggling franchise schools? To his shame, his promotion to the head of Franchise role was something of a catastrophe for the whole division. They never again sold a single franchise and two of the existing schools went kaput. The first fatality was TBI Cengkareng, but TBI Semarang followed the next year too. By 2014, almost every trace of TBI Cengkareng has vanished. It is just another skeleton in a skeleton-laden closet. But below is a brochure from happier days. When TBI management tell you that they value their business partners and are a good investment, think of this sad brochure from a failed project.