Expert Q&A: Payal Kadakia, Founder Of ClassPass

Since launching in 2013, ClassPass has facilitated more than 40 million fitness bookings across 8,500 studios in cities around the globe.

Payal Kadakia took ClassPass from a solution-based start-up to a thriving company valued at an estimated $400 million in 2016. She holds a degree in operations research from MIT, was named one of eight women entrepreneurs on the rise by FORBES, and most recently helped expand ClassPass’ reach to 42 cities worldwide.

Thanks for taking the time to answer questions for RUBY readers, Payal! Let’s start with the basics: Tell us what your typical workday is like as the founder and executive chairman of ClassPass.

My day is versatile in that I like to keep room open for product brainstorming. Being in the right mindset and scheduling enough time to be creative is really important for me. I also check in with the right people from my team and I’m a big inbox-zero person.

Talking bigger picture, what would you say are the most challenging – and also the most rewarding – aspects of your job?

The best thing is that we get to change people’s lives in a positive way. The hardest (but also most exciting) thing is that there is never a blueprint for where we are going, so we are always in uncharted territory.

What’s been your hardest-learned lesson so far in your career?

It’s one thing to have a great idea, but that idea doesn’t mean anything unless you execute against it. So, setting the right goals is really important. You also need to make sure that you are equipping yourself with the right team in order to make these things happen.   

If you could tell upcoming women-in-tech entrepreneurs one thing about the industry, what would it be?

As an entrepreneur you will always face adversity, but it’s about how you navigate those challenges. Be your authentic self, not the person you think other people expect you to be. You will always go farther and see better results.

Last question! What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Whatever you decide to do in life, do it at 150 percent or don’t do it at all.


Katarina KovacevicKatarina Kovacevic is founder and editor of RUBY. Follow her on Twitter @Little_K and Instagram @Little_K_Kata.

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