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Payal Kadakia Spotlight

Payal Kadakia

Payal is a risk-taker. After establishing herself as a formidable business executive at companies like Bain & Company and Warner Music Group, her decision to develop ClassPass was driven by her passion for dance and fitness. Her risk has certainly paid off, with subscribers having booked more than 45 million reservations to date. Join SELF Editor-in-Chief Carolyn Kylstra as she discusses with Payal how to build a successful brand, how to create the change you want to see while being your authentic self, and much more.

About Payal Kadakia

Payal is the Executive Chairman & Founder of ClassPass and the Artistic Director of The Sa Dance Company.  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. ClassPass is a membership program for fitness classes across multiple gyms and studios, making working out more engaging, accessible, and affordable.  With over 25 years of dance experience, Payal also founded The Sa Dance Company, a contemporary Indian dance company. She has led the company to achieve tremendous community support, soldout performance, celebrity endorsements, and positive reviews in The New York Times, MTV, and prominent South Asian publications.  Payal has been quoted as “the dancer possessing not only the stand-out talent, but the undying passion, congenial disposition and sharp business savvy to be truly a force to be reckoned with” as the South Asian culture continues its inevitable integration into America.  Prior to founding ClassPass, Payal worked as a consultant at Bain & Company and in Warner Music Group’s Digital Strategy and Business Development Group. Payal also has a degree from MIT in Operations Research and Economics.

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