At this blog we have warned people for years that TBI was a corrupt, cronyistic and nepotistic business which was riddled with problems. At first our whistleblowing was met with howls of outrage and denial from the corrupt vested interests which run the school. However, the more people we talked to, the more skeletons we found in the closet. Let us just remind you of some of the main ones.
First, we warned people that the new Business Manager, Luke Preece, was a devious sociopath who had claimed numerous victims in his climb to the top. He had rigged jobs selections committees, appointed his sub-literate mistress as Marketing Director, presided over schools where literally billions of rupiah were embezzled, slandered and defamed his perceived ‘enemies’, got his enemies fired, spied on his enemies’ email, abused complaints procedures and made unsubstantiated allegations of criminal conduct against rivals. As he took over more and more of TBI, the company entered a period of catastrophic decline.
We also warned people that the company was the site of petty, vindictive turf wars between two nepotistic and cronyistic women: Ibu Mariam and Ibu Ning. Their relatives and coffee buddies were appointed over experienced candidates and years of graft, under-performance and clown-like incompetence followed. Money was sucked out TBI to spend on vanity projects such as design schools run by family members of these women. By 2015 the cracks were really showing. In that year their Jakarta operations were massively downgraded. There were mass lay-offs, which were followed by school closures of TBI Sudirman, the downsizing of TBI Kuningan and the closure of the old TBI Kelapa Gading. They were now but a shadow of their former selves.
In the last twelve months, the rot has spread further with their only school in Sumatra (TBI Medan) closing. Now the notorious TBI Bekasi has also closed. This was long the worst of all their rotten franchise schools. When TBI were told about unpaid wages and abusive work conditions, they ignored all calls for help and threw their teachers under the bus. They are now paying the price for their years of callous indifference. TBI Bekasi has joined a growing list of bankrupt TBI schools.
However, the problems at TBI Bandung are unprecedented. Bandung was where TBI started and its strongest market. Basically, if TBI cannot succeed in Bandung, it is finished. This was its one remaining strong market. However, teachers have now been threatening strikes due to unpaid wages. TBI has still not paid June wages and we are almost at the end of August! The corrupt managers of the company have long viewed the company as their private piggy-bank, and finally the financial problems have reached an acute crisis. While, the company may yet scrape together enough cash to resolve this problem, their downwards trajectory is now very steep. They are a spent force in Indonesian TEFL. We would recommend teachers to get a new job and move on. This company is poison.