You are here

Inayoshi Reclaims GEOS and NOVA

After giving up GEOS and Nova and his job, Masaki Inayoshi is back in the saddle.

According to the Asahi shimbun, GEOS, Nova, and its juku cram schools were sold (again!) as of October 1 by G.communication to Inayoshi Capital Holdings, an investment firm set up by former G.communication chairman Masaki Inayoshi, who gave up his position in August.

The diagram from the Asahi article illustrating the deal looks like this:

As the Chunichi shimbun reports, G.communication sold its 66% stake in G.education to Inayoshi Capital Holdings. Apart from wanting to focus on the restaurant business, G.communication felt that Inayoshi was the best choice for rebuilding Nova and GEOS.

This marks Inayoshi's return to eikaiwa after a very brief departure. However, the eikaiwa market is still in tatters following the collapse of Nova and GEOS. When G.communication took over GEOS in April, there were 230 schools. There are now 167 with the possibility that more closures will come. G.communication said that it gave up the schools in order to focus on its restaurant business.

G.communication's owner, Foody's ran into trouble earlier this year when its main bank, the Incubator Bank of Japan was shut down. In August, it announced it would sell its shares in G.communication to Hanshin Shuhan, a deal which is still being negotiated. The Asahi spoke to someone at Hanshin Shuhan who said that they had no interest in continuing to operate the English conversation schools.

It looks like a win-win situation for all parties involved in this case. As I mentioned previously, I likened what was going on to trading hockey cards. It appears that everyone involved got what they wanted. Inayoshi effectively keeps his English schools, and G.communication and Hanshin Shuhan get rid of a drag on their businesses.

The Asahi shimbun also deserves a little slap on the wrists for their reporting. Their article make reference to the sale as increasing uncertainty among students (わずか半年で再び身売りされ、受講生の間に不信感が広がりかねない。) What about the teachers? How about a little love for them? I guess not. I guess there aren't enough to care about anymore. They'll simply fade away should Inayoshi's business fail in the future.

Comments

Apart from wanting to focus on the restaurant business, G.communication felt that Inayoshi was the best choice for rebuilding Nova and GEOS.

Pulling it to bits, more like. Virtually all GEOS schools will be shut at the end of October, with the possible exception of a handful that aren't located relatively close to NOVA schools that students can be told they have to transfer to.

war is peace.
freedom is slavery.
pulling to bits is rebuilding.

it's the era we live in, mr.x.

war is peace.
freedom is slavery.
pulling to bits is rebuilding.

it's the era we live in, mr.x.

Indeed, though I think the problem with Inayoshi and his G.com cronies is not that they're deliberately lying through their teeth, but that they have no idea about running English schools and subsequently make stupid commitments that they are completely unable to honour. Although they are also tax cheats, so if it did turn out that they took over NOVA and then GEOS knowing full well how many people they were going to fire I wouldn't be very surprised.

I think this is worrying for the teachers, students and staff who remain at NOVA. Inayoshi will not have the luxury of being able to dip into the GCom bank accounts to prop his business up this time. And if these 'capital partners' are serious about making yen they will expect decent returns on their investment. From what I have heard NOVA is only still in business due to the commitment of a core group of instructors and staff and is not due in part to anything innovative or inspired by the people running the joint.

From what I have heard NOVA is only still in business due to the commitment of a core group of instructors and staff and is not due in part to anything innovative or inspired by the people running the joint.

Absolutely not. The upper management are morons who have totally bought into the idea that you only need to speak English like a native in order to teach it, making it possible to sell lots of lessons while spending as little as possible on hiring qualified, experienced teachers and providing proper training and supervision. Don't expect anything inspired or innovative from them, because it's cheaper to keep their heads buried in the sand and just keep on doing whatever NOVA was doing five or six years ago.

There is no serious threat of governmental monitoring, to prevent sister companies over-selling goods and services to the main company (which is a method commonly employed by Eikaiwa to march students paid up front fees straight out of the main account – main company runs at a break-even, or at a loss, while official and sometimes unofficial sister companies record SUPER profits).

Providing Nova continues with clever accounting practices, and they get sales, then, whether main company makes money or not, it is still money for jam for the other “divisions”. When the main company invariably goes bankrupt, creditors do what? Chase technically unrelated companies who were suppliers (or customers) of the main company, to get the money? That is the same, as a student asking another student, to give them a refund.

The Great Eikaiwa Scam is based on “supplying to yourself” in an undisclosed fashion, goods and services, at highly inflated prices, and thus marching those paid in advance fees out the door of the main legal entity, and thus out of the legal claws of a future court appointed receiver.

Conmen can NEVER resist a good scam. The only way to stop a scam, is for the government to intervene, and plug the loop hole.

A law needs to be introduced, where suppliers of goods and services to Eikaiwa have to be registered with the government, and the government makes clear that those suppliers are FULLY independent of the Eikaiwa (no association at all – not personal, not legal, not financial – completely independent).

Bottom line is, the scammer does not care if his main company eventually folds (in most cases, he/she knows it will) – what he/she cares about, is simply having a certain amount of time, with main company running at a book loss, to march those paid in advance fees straight out the door. With monies stashed, who cares when the main company goes bankrupt? The money, at that point, is already in the bag.

It's all a game - "how much money can I siphon off, by secretly supplying to myself at huge prices, before they shut me down".

Inayoshi is good for selling franchises. He won't be the one for quality control.

Cash diversion is just one aspect of it. The critical thing, that you also mention, is the payment of up-front fees.

Simply collecting what needs to be paid out in salaries and overhead in the typical month won't do it. Even if a profit can be baked into the overhead. The "juice", so to speak, is getting the deposit money for future performance.

What I wonder about the NOVA model is whether there are still Japanese daft enough to prepay NOVA?

Also, you are 100% correct that the industry needs government oversight.

I wouldn't be suprised if all GEOS schools will be closed by the end of the year. Starting NOV there will be little or no schools teaching the GEOS method. Most if not all of the JET staff will be layed off by NOV. Plus forced resignations of teachers that they don't need or can't hire. If GEOS was still around up to this point, it won't be come NOV. 29 school will be left at the end of this month..... more will be gone. Starting of training the NOVA method will start this month, those teacher that are lucky enough to stay will get this training, and a job, those schools that are too far away will either turn into NOVA with the teacher replaced with new NOVA teachers or closed down compelty. GCOMs goal...to get as many students as possible. Anyone still with this company.... get out while you can.

Well I just heard that ALL GEOS schools in Kyushu will be closed soon.....

Inayoshi at the helm....

all but 2

The upper management are morons who have totally bought into the idea that you only need to speak English like a native in order to teach it, making it possible to sell lots of lessons while spending as little as possible on hiring qualified, experienced teachers and providing proper training and supervision.

You've just summed up the world of eikaiwa. It's not about teaching, it's about sticking any old native speaker in front of a group of people, and doing whatever is necessary to sucker those people in and get as many bums on seats as possible. That's why clowns like Inayoshi get into all this - on paper at least, the eikaiwa "method" described above is very simple to put into practice. Any goon can do it, and it especially appeals to the greedy, immoral goons.

If you want to actually teach, get a teaching degree and work at a school, not an eikaiwa. No doubt I'll get Kevin Burns on my case again now, posting under yet another assumed name (even though he thinks eikaiwa naysayers should fess up and print their real name), telling me that this just ain't the case.

What I wonder about the NOVA model is whether there are still Japanese daft enough to prepay NOVA?

Students no longer have to pay huge amounts of money upfront, they can just pay for 5, 10, 15 or 20 lessons at a time. There's no way G.com could have kept running the schools if they'd kept the NOVA model as it was, as GEOS found out.

You've just summed up the world of eikaiwa. It's not about teaching, it's about sticking any old native speaker in front of a group of people, and doing whatever is necessary to sucker those people in and get as many bums on seats as possible. That's why clowns like Inayoshi get into all this - on paper at least, the eikaiwa "method" described above is very simple to put into practice. Any goon can do it, and it especially appeals to the greedy, immoral goons.

If you want to actually teach, get a teaching degree and work at a school, not an eikaiwa. No doubt I'll get Kevin Burns on my case again now, posting under yet another assumed name (even though he thinks eikaiwa naysayers should fess up and print their real name), telling me that this just ain't the case.

I definitely see what you mean, although I do think some good teaching can occur in eikaiwa schools. I mean, I honestly don't think the school owners consciously set out to sell a crap product, it's just that's what happens when they want to do everything on the cheap and install clueless bootlickers as native English-speaking supervisors and head office staff. Good teaching under such circumstances invariably happens by accident, not because it's nurtured and encouraged.

I definitely see what you mean, although I do think some good teaching can occur in eikaiwa schools. I mean, I honestly don't think the school owners consciously set out to sell a crap product, it's just that's what happens when they want to do everything on the cheap and install clueless bootlickers as native English-speaking supervisors and head office staff. Good teaching under such circumstances invariably happens by accident, not because it's nurtured and encouraged.

I agree, again, I think you've hit the nail on the head as to what eikaiwa is all about. Eikaiwa owners are, I guess, often in the position of having no choice but to hire a clueless boot-licking goon. But that's to be expected in an unskilled business like eikaiwa, that's the way unskilled businesses are.

As far as I can see, eikaiwa doesn't require the ability to teach, but simply to be able to talk, preferably in a vaguely structured and coherent way. It doesn't require more than that.

Again though, I'm sure Kevin Burns will have something to say about this.

Does anyone know what will happen to the GEOS for Children schools? That's where I was when I was inside and would like to hear some news.

In April none of the kid's schools closed...coincidentally right at the beginning of the school year, after everyone had purchased their new books and paid their yearly contracts and the company got their hooks in. Will everyone just be siphoned to the nearest Nova?

Eikaiwa owners are, I guess, often in the position of having no choice but to hire a clueless boot-licking goon.

Not if they want subordinates who will slavishly enforce their every dictate and not question their blinkered view of what English teaching is, no...

As far as I can see, eikaiwa doesn't require the ability to teach, but simply to be able to talk, preferably in a vaguely structured and coherent way. It doesn't require more than that.

It does really require more than that, it's ideally about getting the students to talk to each other as independently as possible. However, substantial numbers of the native English speakers hired to work in eikaiwa schools lack the ability and inclination to do any teaching, so they kid themselves into thinking that if they spend the best part of an hour waffling about meaningless crap the students will somehow learn something by osmosis. The supervisors let them get away with this because they're doing the same thing themselves, or never bother to check what's happening in lessons at all. Eikaiwa is what it is because that's the way the people involved prefer to define it. Japanese owners see it as being no different from selling yakiniku, middle-management westerners are too clueless or spineless to contradict them, and ordinary instructors come and go in rapid succession, having stayed only a year or less and learned absolutely nothing about doing a half-decent job. No wonder the enrollment figures keep falling.

Does anyone know what will happen to the GEOS for Children schools? That's where I was when I was inside and would like to hear some news.

I'm almost certain they're all being closed down. I've never actually seen the two nearest me open, and one of them has been gone for a few months already.

Will everyone just be siphoned to the nearest Nova?

If they want to go. A lot probably won't.

it's ideally about getting the students to talk to each other as independently as possible

the whole system works against that when class numbers are so low. and there is a common type of student in japan that will not complete a sentence without confirmation from the teacher that what they are saying is correct, no matter who they are supposed to be talking to.

the poor teaching practices you describe are encouraged by the students themselves, who often pay more for the "premium" classes with fewer students and refuse to act with any independence in the classroom.

so even if the teacher has the ability and the inclination to work hard, the quality of lessons remains pretty poor.

Man,
I think working at eikaiwa is like a black hole in my resume. Sure the schools are closing and I kind of expected that and I knew the old and new company is a joke but i still cant help getting angry with the whole daily bull shit i have to go through.
So anyway, its a kind of mixture of casual education (students dont like to be reminded of high school) so a little textbook stuff - after all they paid for the book - but not too heavy.
Then off course some general conversation. The standard - how was your weekend? What food so you like? These questions never get old.
Then there is the whoring factor. Especially for the housewives. Its kind of like doing a stip dance or something. Some bored students want "dance for me monkey dance". Give them excited gestures, exaggerated voices and actions. wave your hands around a bit. Jump out of your seat to make some class point. Boy they love that excitement. Gets there heart pumping.
Me I hate it, Im not a friggin monkey.
Of course theres worthwhile things and some students are great and I really respect some of their work and motivations. Even a little envious of it. Im sorry for those students that they get screwed by this piero circus.
Man, taking it up the ass daily sure gets painful. I need some cream. Anyone got some?

Wake up dick-head ! This is Eikaiwa ! You are a "friggin monkey" getting paid peanuts to do the "monkey dance".

Get used to, or move on.

There are plenty of people out there, willing and wanting to fill your shoes.

Don't ask me why, but there are plenty, plenty of them.....

Yeah, I know, it is a pretty fucked world we live in.......how the hell could anyone consider doing the monkey dance or whore act, for those giggling, awkward, racist pricks, is beyond me.

the whole system works against that when class numbers are so low. and there is a common type of student in japan that will not complete a sentence without confirmation from the teacher that what they are saying is correct, no matter who they are supposed to be talking to.

the poor teaching practices you describe are encouraged by the students themselves, who often pay more for the "premium" classes with fewer students and refuse to act with any independence in the classroom.

Yes, those kinds of students are tough, but even in a small class with just two students it's possible to set up a paired independent speaking task, and if they need to be told what to say so be it. I think it's possible to wean students off that kind of dependency given time and the right approach, but in the meantime it's better to give them the confirmation that what they're saying is correct than turn the lesson into a lecture they won't understand anyway. I think this tends to happen because a lot of instructors go into lessons expecting the students to be able to talk straight off the bat, and a lot of the time they just can't. Typically, instructors will have received no guidance on dealing with this kind of situation, so their role in the class becomes nothing more than "talking gaijin." G.communication have been particularly bad for letting this kind of thing happen, but if the falling enrollment figures show anything I think it's that Japanese people no longer want to spend their money on some 20-something westerner with no EFL qualifications trying to entertain them in a language they only barely comprehend.

So true... After I go, theres someone to replace me. The students sure as hell forgot my predeccessors pretty quickly.
Hell, why does anyone do any whoring?... for money.
and thats my only motivation to put on my monkey suit.
It sure as hell aint the Japanese experience anymore.

Whats that story - the monkey was locked up so long in a cage and fed only banana skin everyday. His life sucked. everday, bored housewives came and banged on his cage to make him dance up and down and they got excited and laughed.
He was pretty miserable.
Then one day, the zoo went bankrupt and the owner left the cage door open. Little monkey could finally escape. Except he didnt. He was so used to eating banana skin and being daily abused by housewives that he didnt want to change.
Finally a mean son of a bitch came in the cage and kicked monkeys ass a few times and told him to get the fck out.
Monkey got out and went to the bigger world and got a better job and life (though not neccasirily easier).
Some other asshole took monkeys cage
Man I need some one to kick some sense in my head.

Me did Monkey Dance in Monkey Cage too. Me not confidence, do anything else.

Lost touch reality.

Believed was professional English teacher wanted and in demand, but when finally looked in mirror, just sub-standard impersonator, wearing Chimpanzee suit.

Give monkey banana? Give monkey banana?

You give monkey banana, me do boom boom dance, and speak English and then go jump jump.

You go ha ha, me go jump jump.

You give banana, everybody oh so happy !

Yeah that works for me. Thanks.
I want some meat. Tired of eating shit.
Im outta monkey land. Going to the plains. More space. More freedom.

Just relax, just relax, breath is, and let it out. You can do it. Come on, you can do it, nice smile, nice smile, everyone relaxed now?

I……I like……

Hey, come on, come on, let it out, let it out, you can do it

I…..I like….

Oh yeah, you can do it, just really, really, really think about it. Relax, breath easy, you can do it, good, good, you are getting there….

I…..I…..

Ok, ok, almost there, almost there, could accent, good intonation, just a little bit more, just a little bit more, good work, good work…..

I…..I…..I like………

Ok, just about there now, good job so far, one last effort, come on, come on, you can do it, you can do it, just one last effort, keep it up with the smile, nice accent, nice accent, keep it up, keep it up………..

I like……….I like eggs sunny side up.

Excellent ! Well done ! Great work ! Good job. Now, now for the exciting part. Can you ask other people around you, about how they like their eggs? Think about it, think about it, it is a “question”……remember yesterday's lesson, think about it, think about, that’s it, keep up with the smile, think about it……..good job……good job……think about it, think about it…………

How do………hmmm…………eto, eto, eto

Good, good, good work, nice intonation, good smile, hey, this is fun. Keep going, keep going, you can do it, push, push, almost there, almost there, you can do it !

How do you like egg?

(You stupid dumb ass bitch……..Christ I want to kill myself)……….Good, good, but not quite……..once more, once more………remember practice from yesterday, think, think, once more, good job though, almost there, almost there…..

Sorry, but I think you could have saved a lot of time and effort by just saying "I hate my job and I think it's a huge waste of time." Anything more informative to add on the whole G.com/NOVA/GEOS issue?

*Confidential Memo*

Sender: Inayoshi
To: Former Gcom Japanese staff and Foreign Head Office personal

Subject:
Cost cutting Changes.

Otsarasama desu.
As you know, Gcom has recently been sold to Inayoshi holdings. Things have been pretty rough in the last few months but we are confident we can get things back on track and pull together and make our company efficient.
To fulfill our aims we will need to make some important cost cutting changes to our teaching personal.
Currently our native teachers are too costly and are a drain on the companies resources. Therefore as of 4th November, we will be replacing them with real monkeys from the African jungle. These monkeys will need to be trained to teach ESL. One week should be enough.
To school managers; please clean out the monkeys cages everyday and make sure they don't throw feces at the blackboard.

----------Message ends--------------------

So no more yakiniku but expect payments by way of bananas!

If you're going to make jokes about eikaiwa could you try to make them funny? The whole monkey thing got boring halfway through the first post, and wasn't very original anyway.

Don't worry too much on the time waste Mr X - it was a cut and paste

Anyway, me have to go, got banana and have to do boom boom dance...

Monkey say, monkey do......

Now that was VERY funny !

Is there any news on how the geos school closures impacts on the foreign staff in head office ?

Complainers. Why not use this opportunity being in a caged locked up with females, granted they are older but so what?, to do the mating dance instead of the monkey dance. Think of your misely paycheck with payment not just in money but in dating choices.

ESL teacher or paid Stud Muffin, you choose.

geos foreign HQ staff
Is there any news on how the geos school closures impacts on the foreign staff in head office ?

yup

Well, it is not that simple. A sub-company is running a few hybrid NOVA/GEOS schools which may have a shot at surviving. People are just looking at the main company running NOVA/GEOS but there is another player in all of this which is quietly, yet slowly, turning things around for what seems a doomed project.

Inayoshi plans to turn a profit in three months. This means that quite a few GEOS branches, staff and instructors will be going out the door. Some NOVA x GEOS branches will be opening up November1st.

Inayoshi made almost "jyu-oku" which is, what, 900 hundred million to a billion yen selling his stock. The same bank that collapses with Foodys gave him a very sweet price for his company. Guess greed got the better of them. He's using that money to set up ICP and most recently, purchase G.education out fom under G.communication.

I'm guessing the whole "back in the black in three months" is just about how long he can afford to lose money. If GEOS doesn't turn into the black after three months, we can expect to see him cut GEOS loose and focus on NOVA.

Forgot to mention in previous post...
Hanshin Shuhan let GEOS continue to operate in the hopes that they could corner a larger share of the eikaiwa market. GEOS has been losing roughly two hundred million yen a month, and Hanshin Shuhan was quite ready to cut it loose. You can imagine the chagrin as "hard-earned" profits poof down the drain of GEOS.
Inayoshi was apparently critical of how laissez-faire Foodys and/or Hanshin Shuhan was in dealing with the GEOS takeover. He seems to have thought he could have done better, and hence, the step-in and buyout.

Did teachers (those who stayed with GEOS or left after the bankruptcy) get their Heisei 22 Nen Gensenchoshuhyo and/or Kyuyo Shiharai Shyomeisho?

Subscribe to Comments for "Inayoshi Reclaims GEOS and NOVA"