Paromita Sengupta (Bengaluru)
A.K. Srikanth is chief executive officer of the Bengaluru-based KLAY Preschools and Daycare (Founding Years Learning Solutions Pvt. Ltd, estb.2012) — a chain of over 150 owned pre-primaries and daycare centres — well-reputed for high-quality curriculums and safety standards.
Newspeg. In its latest education initiative after Covid-19 hit India in March 2020 forcing closure of all schools countrywide, in June 2021, KLAY introduced Klaytopia, an innovative theme-based hands-on activity box supplemented with digital lessons and expert support, delivered directly to children’s homes. This home-learning programme for children aged two-six years provides a hybrid model of learning for parents to implement as facilitators. Supported by high-quality video content on a gamified platform, Klaytopia provides 30 hours of constructive engagement for preschoolers and young learners.
History. An engineering and business management alum of BITS, Pilani and Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland (USA), Srikanth acquired over two decades of valuable work experience with major corporations such as Nestle, the Cleveland Clinic and the OCS Group — UK’s largest facilities management company — in India, America and Africa prior to his appointment as COO (2017) and subsequently CEO of KLAY Preschools & Daycare in May 2020.
Direct talk. “March 2020 was a major inflection point for India’s education ecosystem. As a leading provider of ECCE (early childhood care and education) we were quick to realise the importance of learning continuity and immediately started developing age-appropriate digital at-home learning programmes. To address apprehensions about digital over-exposure, we provided early learners with active and staggered screen-time. We began with [email protected], a live, interactive online programme with carefully curated age-appropriate content. This was followed up with [email protected], an in-person, at-home care and learning solution to suit the needs of families. Our teachers and caregivers delivered ECCE at home to 4,000 households across India. With preschools and primary-secondaries shuttered for over 16 months and counting, we are constantly innovating and expanding our portfolio to ensure that critical foundational learning of youngest children doesn’t stop. Moreover early this year, we introduced KLAY Enrich which offers a range of online extra-curricular activities for children in the 3-16 years age group, followed by our newest initiative Klaytopia,” says Srikanth.
Future plans. Encouraged by the rising demand for the company’s at-home and hybrid programmes for early learners, Srikanth has a detailed roadmap for the future. “We know that school campuses may be no-go zones for most of 2021, if not the entire academic year. Therefore, our focus is on continuous innovation to improve our online hybrid and at-home ECCE while also keeping our ears to the ground to address the needs of families struggling with the impact of the pandemic on their children and maintaining learning continuity,” says Srikanth.
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