Meet the SHEROES - Priya Krishnan
Today we share the story of the CEO of Klay Schools Priya Krishnan. The multi-city present Klay Schools is a one of its kind preschool and day care centre for children. Why did Priya venture into this field and what is it like running a centre for children? Let’s read on.
Tell us a little about yourself
I grew up in Mumbai for the most part - the first 8 years my dad was in the Indian Air Force so we moved around a lot. I was in Mumbai from Grade 4 onwards till I completed by MBA and started my first job. I am an Engineer MBA by training. I started my career in consulting, did a start-up stint early 2000 and then worked with a larger IT outsourcer called MphasiS. In my last role I used to head up the European Business for MphasiS. I moved back to India in second half of 2010 from the UK and started up Klay in July 2011. We now have 35 centres across the country and are have 2 predominant models: in-house day cares for corporates and community preschools and day cares close to the workplace or home.
How / why did you venture into the field of Education?
I think working with adults is over rated! I love children and I think working with young children is an amazing and enriching experience.
What differentiates Klay Schools from other Primary and pre-primary schools?
We are a preschool and day care. We work on all working days that parents do except for 3 days where we shut down for maintenance. Our ratios are much lower than most preschools in the country - we would on average have 1 teacher to every 5 to 6 children making the interaction much richer. We start earlier than most preschools - we start at 5 months of age and have a curriculum even for infants
As CEO of Klay Schools, what is your average work-day like?
I spend a large proportion of my time on HR as people are the key given we are into education services. We have a country wide operation and I end up travelling 6-7 days in a month to the cities we operate in - Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad
According to you, does Day Care for kids work in the Indian market? What are your thoughts on this?
Yes absolutely - Day care is very relevant in the tier 1 cities of India - these cities typically have migrant population and don’t have the support of grandparents or a trained nanny. They need a structured care environment like us. We have trained early childhood professionals to deal with young children - it is a transparent accountable service and hence a hit with parents
What is your vision for Klay Schools in the coming years?
To operate out of all 6 metros in India and facilitate 100,000 working couples to use our services over the next 10 years
A decade or two ago, the concept of pre-primary care or day care wasn't as talked about. Today, young parents, especially working couples have a different view. Can you comment?
0-3 are the most important years in a child’s developmental life - this is a well-recognized fact across the world - in the olden days grandparents and mothers played the role of the teacher in the early years but with moms going back to work and with no grandparents around our attempt is the recreate the home environment for the child
Would you like to leave our readers with a few thoughts from your end?
Children are curious - we must encourage them to keep asking questions and there is no complete surrogate to a parent child relationship