Indian-origin entrepreneur Payal Kadakia, 32, figures among the 10 most promising women entrepreneurs of 2015 in the list released by Fortune magazine. Payal is the CEO and co-founder of ClassPass, a two-year-old start-up that gives customers access to thousands of boutique fitness classes in their area.
In its award statement, Fortune stated, “ClassPass is only two-year-old, but it has already booked more than 7 million fitness class reservations at gyms and studios across the US, plus Canada and the UK.”
Kadakia says she started the company after trying and failing to find a ballet class in New York City that she could attend. “In that moment, I realised the pain point that most people must experience in staying connected to their hobbies and passions,” the magazine quoted her as saying. Fortune said Kadakia’s idea tapped into a fitness craze.
ClassPass is based in New York City. The company offers a flat-rate monthly subscription service to get access to participating fitness classes in 30+ American cities, as well as in Toronto, Vancouver and London.
Payal is also the founder and Artistic Director of The Sa Dance Company, a contemporary Indian dance company. The company has achieved tremendous community support and positive reviews in The New York Times, MTV, and prominent South Asian publications.
Prior to founding ClassPass, Payal worked as a consultant at Bain & Company and in Warner Music Group’s Digital Strategy and Business Development Group. Payal also has a degree from MIT in Operations Research and Economics.
“Women must remember to be themselves and realize that they have an edge because they are women – not a disadvantage. Women are nurturing and have good instincts by nature, and men and women will inherently face different problems and solve them uniquely. Being an entrepreneur requires one to be a problem solver and as I mentioned earlier, thriving businesses (especially which are dominated by women consumers) will always have support, and that is what ultimately matters.”, says Payal.