Jari Jari Spa & Training Academy

East Asia and Pacific
Last update

Jari Jari Spa was established in 2005 with one spa in Kota Kinabalu. It now has four outlets in Sabah. Jari Jari trains their own spa therapists by recruiting underprivileged youth from rural Sabah. After a while, realizing the strong demand for trained spa therapists from spas all over the country, the founder of Jari Jari (an active member of the Association of Malaysian Spas) identified the need to address this market demand and, in 2012, established the Jari Jari Spa Training Academy which was mainly financed from its CSR funding. The Jari Jari Spa Training Academy is accredited by the Federation of Holistic Therapies Association and all trainees get a certification upon graduation.

Inclusive Business Model

In the current business model, the trainee does not contribute any fee, which is restricting the growth potential of the company. The current model does not address affordability to pay for the training, work payment issues, nor other potential issues with recruiting spas. Jari Jari is now considering transitioning its training activities into an IB model, which would increasing its revenue and profits and make its training activities more financially sustainable while generating greater social impact. In the new business model, Jari Jari Spa Training Academy would train the trainees for three months at Kota Kinabalu (as currently) and then place the trainees graduated in various high-end spa establishments across Malaysia. Jari Jari is well connected in the industry and has partnerships with various government agencies, Future of Wellness, the Healthland Capital Group and the wellness industry and tourism business associations.


Jari Jari had trained more than 1000 young persons from various villages in rural Sabah. Most of them are young woman, but there are also some young men (10 per cent). Jari Jari guarantees employments to all trainees and places them in various quality accredited spa outlets (including hotels, resorts and independent spas) as employees. When placed in jobs, the spa therapists get paid about RM1,500 basic salary per month (which is higher than the national minimum wage of MYR 1,100 per month).  On top of that, they will get paid overtime, receive commissions where applicable, and are also entitled to other employee benefits.  Their accommodation is also provided by the employer.  On average, a spa therapist from Jari Jari Spa Training Academy can earn over MYR 3,000 a month. This is much more than what spa therapists trained elsewhere can earn. Already in the current, but even more systematically in the future, business model, Jari Jari ensures the wellbeing of their trainees through regularly checking on them.