KLAY Schools appoints AK Srikanth as the new CEO
Bangalore, India, 1st May 2020: KLAY Schools, India’s leading pre-schools and daycare chain, has elevated AK Srikanth to the role of CEO effective 1st of May 2020. Priya Krishnan, Founder and CEO, will be stepping down to pursue her personal interests apart from spending time with her children. AK Srikanth has been the COO of the company for three years and has been working closely with Priya Krishnan since 2019 to take on this responsibility as per the structured succession plan. Priya will continue to be on the board of the company, providing strategic guidance and operating expertise, in addition to remaining a company shareholder.
Srikanth joined KLAY in 2017, taking on the role of COO with the primary responsibility to grow the network across India. Since then Klay Schools has increased the number of schools across the country by over 60%. Prior to joining Klay Schools Srikanth spent over a decade in leadership roles at the OCS Group and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Srikanth is a Chemical Engineer from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS Pilani) and holds an MBA from the Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA, where he was a Weatherhead Scholarship recipient.
Sandeep Aneja, Managing Director at Kaizenvest said, “This transition is important as it signifies the maturation of Founding Years (Klay). Under Priya’s outstanding leadership, the company has defined a brand new solution for assisting women to come back to work and as a result, the company is the leader in the space in the country. AK has been with the company for nearly three years and has learned very ably under Priya’s management. As Priya transitions to a new work-life balance, I’d like to welcome AK to this exciting and challenging role. A lot has been achieved and a lot more opportunity is still out there as the company looks at bringing innovative solutions to support young parents.”
Commenting on the appointment, Pranav Suresh, Investment Principal at Peepul Capital and member of the board said, “Priya’s inspired vision transformed the early childhood care and education space in India. It is to her credit that in the process of building Klay into India’s best ECCE brand, she enabled thousands of women to return to work. While she continues to remain engaged as a board member, we are excited for the next phase of growth with AK Srikanth at the helm. We look forward to the journey and wish them both all the very best”
“Almost 9 years ago, KLAY was founded with the sole purpose of increasing the returnship rate of women back into the workforce after achieving important milestones at different stages in their lives, one of them being motherhood, and there has been no turning back ever since. Our intention has always been that we serve as the backbone for these women, thereby enabling them to take a decision of their choice and do it free of guilt. Today, the company has helped over 30,000 women go back to work and this, in my opinion, is a significant achievement for each one of us at KLAY”, Priya Krishnan said. “While I have decided to move on to explore newer horizons–both, personally and professionally–the company and the team I built and worked with, will always remain close to my heart. I am certain that AK–as we fondly call him–will continue to be the flag-bearer of the KLAY’s vision and mission.”
AK Srikanth said, “KLAY’s primary objective to help women get back to their work and pursue their professional aspirations and dreams resonated strongly with me, even before I had met Priya in person. I am humbled to take on this new challenge and will ensure that we, as a team at KLAY, continue to march towards our mission. It’s been a great honour to have worked with Priya, who is known to be one of the best minds in the ECCE space globally, and I will continue to rely on her guidance in her advisory role in the Board”.