Given the near ubiquity of its memberships, it’s almost hard to believe that ClassPass, the multi-access pass that is revolutionising the way people access and discover fitness, was founded just four years ago. And the woman at the helm? Co-founder and CEO Payal Kadakia.
Payal has been a ‘dancetrepreneur’ since the age of 3 when she started training in Indian classical and folk styles of dance. It was her passion for dance, entrepreneurship, and making the world a more active, happy place that led to the founding of Classpass.
We had the pleasure of chatting with her to get the inside scoop on her food and fitness philosophy, upcoming wedding and the future of ClassPass.
ClassPass is a monthly subscription service providing access to the world’s largest network of boutique fitness studios and gyms. I was sitting at my desk one day looking to try a new Ballet class in NYC and after about an hour of searching and clicking away at numerous websites, I ended up not finding a class to attend. In that moment, I realized the pain that most people must face in finding classes to take and stay connected to their hobbies and passions. It’s about getting out there and experiencing things again, finding time for your passions even if you aren’t performing them professionally. At ClassPass, we’ve iterated on the product a few times to ensure that we really do help alleviate the friction in going to class!
The variety and personalization – we just went national in Australia launching in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, which means we are now in almost 40 markets worldwide. Our members love the flexibility of being able to use ClassPass when they travel. And we’re constantly investing in ways to continue to make the experience more personalized for our members.
Working at Warner Music and starting my dance company.company.
I make it a priority and I put everything – even time to relax – into my calendar.
Be true to yourself, surround yourself by supportive people, and don’t be afraid to fail! Often times success is on the other side of failure.
We notice that on average people try at least 15 different classes on our platform, so we think variety will continue to be a trend as people mix up their routines by incorporating many different types of workouts. In Australia specifically we’ve also seen that outdoor classes are increasingly popular.
Everything is about balance. I love being active and taking care of myself, but I also think it’s ok to indulge.
Usually I’ll go for a run first thing in the morning and then head into the office. Once here I spend most of my times in meetings with my team but will often times find time to slip away for a class midday or after work. I’m also still very active with my dance company and depending on what types of performances we have coming up, I’ll have rehearsals.
Face wipes, vaseline and eyeliner!
Surround yourself by only people who lift you higher
I’m actually headed to India to introduce my fiance to my extended family and to do some wedding shopping! My Indian culture is core to who I am.
Business wise, I’m really invested in how to both improve and expand the ClassPass experience for our members and studio partners. We are currently exploring ways to had even more types of experiences for our users that expand beyond the world of fitness. Personally, I always want to keep sharing my Indian culture with the western world and there are other ways for me to do that and I want to continue to be involved that movement.
Went for a run
I’m only 4’11
Butterscotch candies and Sour Patch Kids
To dance more and focus more on stretching post workout