From teacher@home to theme-based activities, how KLAY Schools innovated during the pandemic to stay relevant

In a recent conversation with YourStory’s Daily Dispatch, AK Srikanth, CEO, KLAY Pre-schools and Daycare, shares key insights on the company’s journey during the pandemic and about future plans.
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The COVID-19 pandemic posed a number of challenges to the education system across the world – including children, parents, as well as educators. During this time, a number of educational institutions transitioned from the traditional brick-and-mortar system to online learning. Bengaluru-based pre-school and daycare company KLAY also went through a similar shift from physical to online learning.

The company said it is eyeing to generate a revenue of at least Rs 120 crore in FY22, a 3X rise in revenue compared to the last financial year.

The company also raised a funding of Rs 30 crore at the beginning of the year from its investors. AK Srikanth, CEO, KLAY Pre-schools and Daycare, said, while the company is not looking to raise any immediate funding, it is aiming to raise a gross amount of approximately Rs 738-886 crore in a span of three to four years.

By the end of 2021, if there are any opportunities in the market and scope for expansion, the company will seek another round of funding of around Rs 50 crore.

“The funding we are getting is for the whole scope of things, it’s not just for the edtech space,” says Srikanth.

According to him, the mode of education might change but education will continue as it is.

In the wake of the pandemic, KLAY devised a system where, instead of the children going to the school, the school could come to the children. Through its teacher@home programme, the company started sending their teachers and caregivers to help the children in their homes. The primary motive for the company has been to innovate in all ways possible in order to keep the students in the loop.

“The pandemic can stop schools, but it cannot stop education,” he says.  

KLAY recently announced the launch of a product called Klaytopia, which puts the entire pre-school education experience in a theme-based hands-on activity box. Klaytopia is aiming to reach 100,000 households by 2023.

Srikanth also mentions that KLAY is not an edtech player. It is essentially an educational provider, which has been growing in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) space for over ten years. Edtech is merely one way out of the number of ways in which the company provides education to children. There are other ways or modes adopted by the company which do not fall under the edtech spectrum.

“For us, edtech is a means to an end and not an end in itself,” says Srikanth.

According to him, the physical mode of education will continue to exist in the long run. At present, KLAY has 150 centers in India and the company is planning on keeping all of them. As and when things get better, these centers will start to resume functioning.

A hybridised learning process is the company’s plan for the future. A combination of physical and online school will be in place for the child to learn without losing out on efficacy. He shares that KLAY will not compromise the curriculum no matter what the mode of teaching is.

Lastly, Srikanth concludes by sharing that KLAY’s personal USP is innovation. The company aims to come up with innovative ways to keep the children engaged in the learning process despite the mode. Additionally, keeping a track of the cashflows, especially during times like these when the revenue has taken a hit, is of utmost importance, he says.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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