The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed schools to go online and with that the task of uploading the homework and even classwork submissions have by and large fallen upon parents. On most weekday mornings, you would find me flitting in and out of rooms, almost like a headless chicken, trying to help my kids log in to their respective classes. There are times when I have uploaded my younger child’s homework in place of the older ones and vice versa.
It’s in times like these that I find myself wishing for a forewarning about submission deadlines, bus pick-ups and drops and even upcoming meetings with teachers. Enter Kriyo. Founded in 2017, it was created by Sucharitha Dasireddy (IIM-A), Shashi Reddy (ISB), and Shyam Reddy (IIT-Kharagpur) who left their corporate jobs to bring digital transformation in the education sector.
This Hyderabad-based free school management platform addresses all these issues and helps educators go digital in under five minutes, without the need for any training.
With over 2,300 schools from over 102 countries using Kriyo, a vast majority of its users are from India, USA and South Africa.
A Fix For ‘Mundane Tasks’
“While working at Amazon after my graduation from IIM Ahmedabad, I would often hear colleagues speak about how opaque school communication with parents was and how often it led to utter chaos,” Sucharitha says. However, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was an incident that she was privy to. “I had accompanied my nephew to his school to collect the school uniform. What should have taken half an hour took us a gruelling three hours. Standing there I thought about how much of a waste the day was for us,” she says.
The incident got her thinking about streamlining some of the processes that schools followed to make it easier for parents. “I also did enough research to understand what the pain points for the school and teachers were. I wanted to find a balance between academics and managing the day-to-day operations, which mostly included routine, repetitive and mundane tasks that consume the bulk of their time.”
She then leveraged technology to ease school operations and brought about a change in the communication channel between parents and teachers. Adding to this, Shashi, Head of Products, says, “We built the Kriyo app keeping in mind the diverse requirements of schools. Be it a small preschool or a child care center with just a few kids or a chain of K-12 Schools with branches all across the country, Kriyo has you covered.”
One-Stop Shop For School
“Shashi and I were sure that we wanted to use technology to solve the problem at hand. We had no doubt in our mind that it was a problem that needed technology intervention,” says Sucharitha. Rather than building a product and trying to find a way to market it, the founders of Kriyo identified a problem and went about building a product to address that need and solve the issue.
They started with servicing 39 schools in Bengaluru in 2018 and that was a pilot project, which helped them understand what tweaks the product needed and where there was scope for improvement. Speaking about how the app helps, Sucharitha says, “The app is a one-stop shop for everything related to school — from fee payment to submission enquiries, daily attendance trackers, smart school bus tracking to communication between parents and teachers. It can all be done at the click of a button.”
She continues, “The app is useful not just for current parents of a school but also prospective parents. While applying for admission, one usually has to visit the school, get the physical form and fill it out. The app has completely digitised this process and saves parents multiple trips to the schools. Once you scan the QR code, the application form becomes accessible to the parents to fill.”
Even from the school’s perspective, going digital helps in keeping track of the hundreds of enquiries that they receive during the admission season. Jessica, who is the centre head and owner of Curious Tots says, “With the Kriyo app, I am able to manage all types of communication with parents digitally. It is time saving and cost efficient. Additionally, I can track enquiries, fee payments and many more features on my mobile at the click of a button.”
Sucharitha describes the app akin to a private community online where teachers and parents can communicate with each other seamlessly.
“Think of it as Facebook for parents and teachers,” she says. The app also has features which allows users to share information like application forms, circulars from school, etc, with other parents and stakeholders. There is also scope to set reminders and track conversations which you feel are important to you.
The biggest USP of the app is how user-friendly it is and how it can be used across multiple operating systems. “IOS, android and even desktop and laptop users can download the app and use it,” says Sucharitha.
Having raised a small round of seed funding from their network, Sucharitha says that they are planning on raising the next round of funding soon. “The funding will help us get the product to reach more people and also to work on making it better for our end-users,” she concludes.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)