MBA ITB Students Help Find Solutions for West Java SMEs Business Constraints Through Coaching Clinic

Master of Business Administration (MBA) ITB program Bandung Campus was involved in training around 125 small and medium (SMEs) business people in West Java through the Coaching Clinic program. Students will accompany these business people to find solutions to the business problems they face. The Coaching Clinic program was developed by MBA ITB program together with Thegreaterhub, SBM ITB’s business incubator. Director of Thegreaterhub SBM ITB, Dina Dellyana explained that this program involved 60 ITB MBA final year students as coaches. In addition, it also involved 55 volunteer trainers from MBA ITB students and alumni. “They have the ability to analyze the problems faced by SMEs”, Dina told reporters at Thegreaterhub SBM ITB, Monday 4 February 2019.

Meanwhile, there are currently 124 SMEs enrolled in this program. They come from various regions in West Java, such as Bandung, Cimahi, West Java districts, Garut, Bekasi, and others. The business they are engaged in is diverse, such as fashion, handicrafts, food, culinary, agricultural, and information technology. Furthermore, in this program they are called coachee.

Dina said, the coach would provide assistance in four fields, from marketing management (related to product development and packaging, digital marketing, etc.), operational management (related to production management, supply chain management, quality control, etc.), financial management (related cashflow, profit and loss, financial analysis, etc.), and human resource management (related to payroll, measurement of performance achievement indicators, HR allocation, etc.).

In its implementation, the coaches will provide consultation sessions held every Monday-Friday at 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Thegraterhub SBM ITB. Coachee can come and discuss the various problems they face. “If the problem is simple, it is possible to be completed there. But if the problem is complex, it will take several meetings and there will be evaluations every Friday. Later there will also be assisting lecturers involved,” said Dina.

She added, this coaching clinic lasted for 14 weeks until 30 April 2019. In the coaching clinic activity, the participants or coachee were not charged anything. While students and alumni who are involved in this activity will get a certificate as a coach and have the opportunity to become authors of books, a collection of problems faced by SMEs in West Java through various instruments to overcome the problem. This book also became the output of the program.

“The output of this program is a collection of issues that are still faced by SMEs in West Java. This book will later be free to download in the community, so that in the future there will be a research study on similar things, no need to start again from scratch, but enough from books this, because we summarize everything”, she said. This Coaching Clinic does not intend to provide an instant solution to the problems faced by SMEs. Rather, it provides various instruments to unravel the problem. “What the coachee has to do is addressing the problem and ask questions,” she said.

Director of MBA ITB Bandung Campus, Dr. Subiakto Sukarno, added that students involved as coaches are students who are prepared to become business people after graduation. Through this program, they can bring together theories that have been obtained through practice in the field. “SMEs will also get something. Hopefully this method works,” he said.

He said, the problem that many SMEs face is related to financial management. “They feel that there is a lot of demand, good sales, but there is no money. And tends to buy too much material,” he said.

One businessman from Bekasi, Riantama Suktana Faudzan, said that his interest in joining this program was to get new knowledge and consult about his food business problems. With 15 employees, he processed mangroves into lunkhead and crackers. He also has a duck rice catering business. During this time he did not have a friend to talk about his business. “Moreover, the existing human resources still don’t understand management,” he said.

He claimed to be constrained by the limited number of mangrove raw materials. Besides that, it is also constrained by markets that are not friendly to SME products. “I hope MBA ITB can share positive knowledge and be a solution to the obstacles faced in business”, he said.

This article is originally written in Bahasa Indonesia and translated by Margareth Tobing, MBA. Original article : https://www.pikiran-rakyat.com/pendidikan/2019/02/05/mahasiswa-mba-itb-bantu-cari-solusi-kendala-bisnis-ukm-jabar-lewat-coaching-clinic