KLAY Prep Schools and Daycare

We are in a high-, fixed-cost industry where profitability is driven by utilisation. When we looked for a technology that provided daily metrics, Salesforce offered much of what we needed.”

Priya Krishnan | CEO

KLAY Schools looks to hit milestones early with Salesforce

As a working parent with access to childcare in the United Kingdom, Priya Krishnan, CEO of KLAY Prep Schools and Day Care (KLAY) noticed that many female colleagues in India dropped out of the workforce in the absence of such options. The businessperson in her spotted an opportunity, but Krishnan says it was also a strong desire to enable women to follow their dreams that led to her founding KLAY.

Today, the company runs 160 childcare centres around the country which offer both education and care. Besides working with corporates to provide on-site childcare in about 70 locations, KLAY also operates centres close to workplaces and residential areas across seven cities in India. Currently, 15,000 students, 30,000 parents and 3000 teachers come under the KLAY umbrella.

While KLAY’s initial premise was to provide a credible, professional alternative to existing childcare options, the team soon found that families were turning to them for more. “It’s not just about providing childcare, but providing a support structure for families through counselling and answering milestone-related queries as well. We have morphed from being a childcare provider to a parenting partner in early child care,” says Krishnan.

Building foundations for larger dreams

Technology is core to KLAY in a number of ways.

“We are in a high-, fixed-cost industry where profitability is driven by utilisation,” points out Krishnan. “When we were smaller, we could use excel-based systems to measure business metrics, but as we scaled, we needed an automated solution that could scale with us.”

When they looked around for a solution that provided daily metrics, as well as predictive tools for situations such as backfilling to balance out student withdrawals, the KLAY team found that Salesforce offered much of what they needed.

KLAY uses Sales Cloud across their B2B and B2C customer segments for lead management. The entire lead flow from lead generation to enrolment, and the contact-to-contract process is now automated on the solution.

For their corporate customers, Sales Cloud captures the different variables that define KLAY’s corporate relationships, including enrolment processes, reimbursement policies and on-site centres, as part of the customer 360.

When it comes to parent-customers, leads generated from walk-ins, open houses, events, digital programmes and other customer touchpoints are captured and consolidated on Sales Cloud. Sales Cloud objects like tasks, calls and events are also used extensively to schedule and track parent visits.

This kind of automation of the lead management process has boosted conversion rates by 40-50 percent.

KLAY also uses Sales Cloud to manage the revenue process. “Invoicing, collecting and receipting are integrated with Salesforce and we use the platform to track cash flows,” says Vidya Venkat, Head - Information Systems at KLAY.

This streamlining of day-to-day processes has helped KLAY achieve a 30-40 percent rise in the efficiency of invoicing and collection.

Sales Cloud further functions as a student data repository, and has become the single source of all data relating to the enrolled children.

Learning and growing with technology

Klay is also using  Service Cloud to manage cases related to Salesforce, and “in the pipeline is the use of Service Cloud to manage omnichannel service delivery,” says Venkat.

Pardot is used for digital marketing campaigns, and to run customer journeys and experiences.

“Pardot has been quite interesting for us,” says Krishnan. “While we have always done a lot of marketing activities, earlier, we were unable to track their overall efficacy. This is something we are now able to fine tune and optimise.”

With all lead data consolidated on Salesforce, the team is able to target programs effectively, optimise campaign spends and focus on channels that yield more. “Our marketing engine is more data-driven,” says Venkat.

Krishnan is encouraged by the early results of KLAY’s Salesforce journey. “The very fact that we can now measure everything that we do is a good outcome for us,” she states.

KLAY is also successfully overcoming industry-specific adoption issues, such as low levels of tech-savvy amongst staff and the distributed nature of the business. Teachers have noticed that a system of record makes life easier and work more efficient. The fact that tasks such as fee invoicing and collection which earlier took 25 days now take a day to complete makes staff members open to every successive rollout.

Venkat notes that the flexibility and ease of use that Salesforce offers has helped drive internal adoption. “With the wide range of resources that Salesforce offers, system administrators are able to quickly roll out modules for on-the-spot requirements such as sending out a communication – what earlier took 3-4 days is all done in a couple of hours,” she says.  

Data is fuelling KLAY’s growth

The KLAY team is optimistic about the future. The company plans to go international with existing corporate clients in the APAC region. Also on the agenda is offering services and products adjacent to the current business, such as a non-centre-based model, or service lines for life situations other than early childcare. In all these ventures, Krishnan sees Salesforce playing a role in helping them better understand the consumer demographic.

As a step in the right direction, KLAY will soon launch an app that will capture micro-level information on each child, and insights from both parents and teachers. Integrated with the student data already available on Salesforce, this app will facilitate tailored learning experiences for students as well as deeper engagement with parents.  

Initiatives such as these could well make KLAY a tech innovator in early education.

“KLAY 1.0 was about the importance of data capture and the ability to make data-driven decisions,” says Venkat. “KLAY 2.0 will centre around a technology core that brings together different systems to nuance engagement and get closer to the customer.” 


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