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Q & A with Payal Kadakia

Posted by january olds on

Q & A with Payal Kadakia

With the busyness that can surround our days, health and wellness can sometimes feel difficult to prioritize and can be sacrificed due to our limited time and need for convenience. Fortunately what started as a light-bulb idea in 2011 for dancer turned entrepreneur Payal Kadakia in wanting to make exercise easy and accessible, has transformed into becoming one of the most influential businesses surrounding fitness today. We are talking about ClassPass: the startup that changed our outlook on working out.  

Kadakia, currently serves as both Founder and as the Executive Chairman of this nearly half a billion dollar company. And as a family-centered, boss lady and once avid world-class dancer of a woman, Kadakia not only has shifted what feels like every millennial's lifestyle around fitness, she impressively exudes an overall passion for life beyond business. We got the chance to learn more about Kadakia and what it looks like for her to be fully be in.


Tell us, what is your daily ritual you can’t live without?

Drinking my green tea. I especially love the Ginger Lemon Green tea from Kusmi.

How do you balance work life and life-life?

I’ve used goal setting as a way to keep myself organized for years now. It helps me keep things in balance, especially when life and work get really busy.

What’s your biggest source of happiness?

I have a few. The people in my life and dance are both really important to me -- they bring me happiness in different ways. I also love helping other people live their best lives, that’s one of the biggest reasons I started ClassPass! I get so much out of helping other people achieve their goals.  

Describe your perfect way to spend a free day:

If it’s a more typical free day, I love to work out, get some sun, enjoy a nice dinner with friends and family. But I’d also have to work at least a little, I really enjoy it! It helps my day feel complete.  If it’s an actual vacation day though, I’d go to Disney World or Disneyland. I love a good amusement park day!

What makes you feel beautiful?

Dancing. My dance company Sa Dance had a show in New York a few weeks ago, and I felt like I was glowing for three days afterward!



Current top three go-to beauty products right now?

January Labs Restorative Tonic Mist, BECCA Champagne Pop Skin Perfector, and Honest Company Conditioning Detangler.

Words to live by:

Your greatest life is on the other side of your greatest fear.

What was the most prominent reason for launching something like ClassPass?

I wanted to help others find what I found in dance. If ClassPass can help someone find their passion and keep at it, then I feel like I’ve succeeded.

What was the best business advice you’ve received and from whom?

My father said, “The only thing constant is change.”  So, you have to learn to be adaptable and flexible. I revisit this advice in my personal and professional life all the time. It’s important to set goals but when you need to or you decide to, you can change them.

If you had to give your own, what would you advise to a budding entrepreneur?

Trust your instincts and get going!

As a woman who has achieved so much, how important has the support of other women been to your career?

It’s been paramount. My friends and the women I’ve surrounded myself with are all brave and amazing achievers that inspire me every day.

Who would you say is an inspirational mentor in your life?

Anjula Acharia. Anjula’s an entrepreneur, tech investor, and philanthropist and she’s one of my biggest role models. She’s so inspirational to me personally, because she is a South Asian woman who knew what she wanted and went after it fully.  Her mentorship has helped me carve my own path.

What’s next?

Continuing to make the world an active place!

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