Streaming Success: Payal Kadakia | Verve Magazine
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March 07, 2016

Streaming Success: Payal Kadakia

Text by Zaral Shah

Co-founder and CEO of ClassPass talks about life as an entrepreneur and what drives her to excel

Payal Kadakia, 32
Randolph, New Jersey — Co-founder and CEO, ClassPass

The Company
A fitness membership designed to help you enjoy and explore a diverse mix of amazing classes that challenge you with different work-outs.

Life as an entrepreneur
“No matter your age, leading a company is both challenging and exhilarating. With ClassPass it’s particularly rewarding since we are making a direct impact on people’s lives. I think the most important thing is to always be you, regardless of your age, sex or race.”

Driven to excel
“I’ve always been very determined, but I think what has influenced me since I was young is the importance of movement in my life; it’s been the driving force throughout my childhood and adulthood. I remember listening to Bollywood music and choreographing 20 dancers to its tunes in my head. Eventually, going to MIT taught me to be a good problem solver and analytical thinker.”

Leisure time spent well
“Dancing continues to be a big passion. I enjoy spending time with my fiancé and nephews, or even watching TV — I love Scandal and Quantico.”

Lessons learnt
“I’ve learned that it’s incredibly important to be true to yourself and lead in a way that is authentically you. It’s so easy to get caught up in living up to expectations of how you think you should be acting, but I’ve found more success by trusting my intuition.”

Advice for those following in her footsteps
“It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the end goal and I’ve been guilty of doing that myself, but we often forget that the journey is the important part. I’ve had my share of ups and downs, but they have all brought me where I am today, so I’m grateful for that.”

Apps and other essentials
“I use Uber a lot. I tend to also always have workout gear with me for my time between meetings. And I always have kajal and eyeliner.”

Fast-forward to the future
“I’m really invested in how to improve and expand the ClassPass experience for our members and studio partners. Personally, I always want to keep sharing my Indian culture with the Western world. My parents have been so supportive of my journey and it’s my Indian roots that has kept me going.”

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