The Fortune magazine has named Payal Kadakia
, an Indian-origin dancer and entrepreneur, among the 10 most promising businesswomen of 2015. She 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 US, Canada and UK.
She says that her innovative venture has already booked more than 7 million fitness class reservations at 2,500 gyms and studios in 28 cities.
Users only need to shell out $99 and they can go to any of the gyms or studios. Last year alone, the company increased staff from four to 300.
Her inspiration? The difficulty she faced in trying and failing to find a ballet class in New York City. Fortune quoted her as saying:
“In that moment, I realised the pain point that most people must experience in staying connected to their hobbies and passions.”
Payal, who has worked as a consultant at Bain & Company, is also the founder and artistic director of The Sa Dance Company, founded in 2009 to promote Indian dance forms.
She herself is an accomplished dancer and has been performing since age three. This year’s 10 Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs will be honoured at a Fortune summit in Washington. The other honourees are Brit Morin, founder and CEO, Brit + Co; Jody Miller, co-founder and CEO of Business Talent Group and Christina Lomasney, president and CEO of Modumetal.