Lenywati, Founder & President Director Tirta Ayu” Spa Building a business through empowerment of high school dropouts

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Lenywati, Founder & President Director Tirta Ayu Spa. (photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)

Jakarta – Doing business as well as helping the others. This is Leny’s early philosophy in building Tirta Ayu Spa. Now, Tirta Ayu Spa is not only well-known in Indonesia but has expanded to several countries in Southeast Asia and Africa.

Her Mother an Inspiration
Her mother passed away because of ovarian disease, has left a very sad memory for her. Since then, she decided to study the science of female reproductive organ anatomy, and left her current profession as an architect. She started to follow various short courses available ever since.

Among the institutions she had entered were the International Beauty School in Jakarta, then the Beauty and Health Institute of Comite d’Esthetique et de Cosmetologie (CIDESCO) in Zurich, Switzerland as well as the Acupressure and Acupuncture Education Center in Guangzou China. Later in the year 2013 she also attended additional education at the Academy Es Vichy, in the city of Vichy, France. She also studied traditional herbal medicine directly from the expert, a palace servant of Yogyakarta Palace.

Enough with the pursuit of knowledge, in 2008 Leny braced herself to create her own home made herbal ingredients in Jalan Gajah Mada, Bojonegoro, East Java. starting with only two employees to blend and pack the raw materials. Various herbs such as ginger and betel leaves, for the combination of steamed, powder, and liquid herbal medicine were taken directly from the local farmers.

Leny confessed, when she started the business back in those days, the original purpose was not only for business. She had a desire to help unemployed women in her surroundings who were generally drop-outs from high school because they had no money to continue.

Leny only choose to focus on the business of female reproductive treatment services, because according to her the future of a nation lays in the hands of a woman. “Generations born from a woman’s womb. If majority of woman were not in the healthy condition, or mothers die while still raising their children, then many children will not have decent treatment so that the future generation might face a difficult situation,” she said.

The turning point of her business was when the wife of a Nigerian King, who has been married for 7 years but has not had any children, come to Indonesia to visit Leny. “She came here to have a treatment in my store. A month later she became pregnant and directly offered me to open a store  outlet in her country,” she said

Leny claimed that her product always produced with the finest quality. Therefore, she did not hesitate to rate her service treatment ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of rupiahs per package. As for herbal products that offer vagina cleaning, vagina health care, foot care, body, face, and other treatments starting from IDR 75.000 per package to millions of rupiah for the package of body slimming herbs. Indeed, a fairly premium price. “Because we always use the natural materials for all basic ingredients,” said Leny. In a day, more than 20 thousand products were produced by Tirta Ayu factory center at Jalan Veteran No.1, Bojonegoro, East Java.

In the near future, she will divide the business into three lines. First, Tirta Ayu Spa which offers individualized spa services in specified location, then Tirta Ayu V-Spa specializes in female genital treatment, and the last one is Spa Hotel, which we will build a special partnership with a particular hotel to provide an additional spa service for their customers.

Currently, Tirta Ayu Spa operates 17 branches in Indonesia. There are five outlets in Bojonegoro, two outlets in Surabaya, two outlets in Jakarta, two outlets in Bali, one outlet in Jepara, one outlet in Karimun Jawa, one outlet in Makassar, one outlet in Sraten, Salatiga – Central Java, one booth at Tembilahan – Riau and one outlet in Batam. While abroad it has 10 branches. Among others are four outlets in Nigeria, two outlets in Cameroon, one in Ghana, one in Philippines and one in Vietnam. “Soon we will open in Singapore and Senegal, this time we still manage to fulfil the requirements,” said Leny.

 

School Dropout
Most of the employees working at Tirta Ayu Spa did not finish their high school education. “Most of them dropped out from school, they’re smart kids, only lack of money to support their education. That’s why I put some of them in a night-shift class to pursue whatever things they left behind. I also encourage them to change the bad habits, because this is the work of hospitality. So, they also need to learn how to speak  proper language delivery,” she said. Most of the employees are woman, except for the administrative sections. These employees were trained under the direct supervision of midwives and doctors to understand more about woman’s vital organs. “They need to learn basic things about anatomy, physiology, and psychology, and moreover we should treat them differently because in this case we taught children whose education is not too high,” he continued.

All overseas employees are Indonesian. Leny has a great desire to introduce Indonesia on the international stage. “So, in our outlets abroad, the customer will immediately hear gamelan songs when opening the door, then the employees will welcome guests by saying, ‘Sugeng Rawuh neng Tirta Ayu Spa’. Hence, the foreigners itself will start to replicate them in saying Sugeng Rawuh,” she laughed.

However, sometimes these employees do not follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). “For them, it’s just a waste of time to say such words. Then they say, “The people here are not Indonesian, so instead of greeting them with ‘sugeng rawuh neng tirta ayu spa’, better to say ‘welcome to tirta ayu spa’. Then I said, remember where you came from, now it’s time to introduce Indonesia to them,” she added.

For the special employees who were assigned in the store abroad, there are three key messages that always are reminded to them. First, keep the family’s good name. Second, keep the good reputation of Tirta Ayu Spa. Third, do not forget that you were born and raised in Indonesia. Never share the secret knowledge to foreigners, keep the pride.” I also ask the national army to teach them about nationalism also how to respect our flag in a proper way,” she said.

Speaking of competitors, Leny admits that there are thousands of available spa services in Indonesia. However, of course, the special spa service for female vital organs were not too much. “I do not want to claim as the only one female treatment centre, I never dare myself to claim that,” she added. Until now, Leny can be proud because Tirta Ayu became the largest spa service that is focused only for female treatment centre, and it’s available for all age ranging from the adolescents to the menopause one.

Despite doing business, Leny never forgets to do social activities. Under Tirta Ayu Spa brand, she always provide assistance to people/community which suffered a cervical cancer, then creating a workshop about the treatment of female vital organs in the villages through the cooperation with local midwives, and the distribution of free products for the prostitutes community, also providing medical assistance to cervical cancer patients in the area.

Leny aspires that Tirta Ayu Spa could become the pioneer of V-Spa treatment in Indonesia which will developed further into a successful international-scale company and become the solution for women in cervical cancer prevention. Not only that, she also hopes that Tirta Ayu Spa outlets open another store expansion throughout the big cities in Indonesia to the small scaled district so that more and more woman can feel the benefits of V-Spa. Also, hopefully in the near future Tirta Ayu Spa can contribute to the poverty reduction by providing employment opportunities for everyone.

(Dessy Aipipidely)