Whatever Happened to TBI Medan? (RIP TBI Medan)

Recently I went online to check the TBI website and found that one of their schools had closed down. It is hardly the first time this happened. The last TBI school to go belly-up was TBI Sudirman. TBI Cengkareng folded a few years before. Likewise, TBI Semarang went bankrupt in 2012. Furthermore, TBI Malang closed down for 7 months in 2012-2013 when their joint venture partner kicked them out of the school due to their lack of professionalism.

When you are talking about such a bottom-feeder company as TBI, whose shrinking empire was always based on empty or broken promises, failure is an ever-present danger. However,for a company which aimed to take over all of Indonesia and beyond, the loss of its only school in Sumatra still comes as a slap in the face. If you can’t keep a school running in a city of 2 million people, with few language school competitors, then you are clearly incompetent. That is what happened in Medan. After years of under-performance, the school has finally collapsed completely.


TBI Medan- the banner shows one of the company’s endless, tired ‘promotions’

There was no announcement on their webpage, no explanation or apologies. The school just vanished off the webpage as if it never existed. However, their are still traces of this failed TBI franchise online. The image above shows the ugly former exterior of the school with its iron doors and former phone number. The picture below (taken from Four Square) shows one of their dismal empty classrooms fitted out with a CD player borrowed from 1996. Generally, TBI schools are a museum of out-of-date equipment and teaching methodologies. It is merciful that TBI Medan has finally been put of its misery.


TBI Medan- quiet as a graveyard. Doomed to failure.

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