PAYAL KADAKIA

Find out how the ClassPass co-founder made fit­ness ac­ces­si­ble for even the busiest women.

Shape (Singapore) - - November 2018 -

The frus­tra­tion of be­ing un­able to find a dance class that fit her work sched­ule was what spurred Payal Kadakia to kick­start ClassPass, a fit­ness sub­scrip­tion ser­vice that launched in Sin­ga­pore this Au­gust. It al­lows mem­bers use monthly cred­its to book a wide range of work­out classes all over the world.

See­ing her friends give up their hob­bies – from mu­sic to sports – as they got older due to a whirl­wind of com­mit­ments, was a to­tal night­mare for the pe­tite 35-year-old, who has been an avid dancer since she was three and can’t imag­ine life with­out it. “I strongly be­lieve that no one should have to lose that part of their lives,” she says. With that in mind, Payal was de­ter­mined to de­sign a busi­ness model that made it easy for busy and health-con­scious in­di­vid­u­als to keep fit­ness in their lives by pro­vid­ing flex­i­bil­ity to work out at any time of the day. Payal her­self was en­cour­aged to step out of her com­fort zone with her own prod­uct, and has tried ev­ery type of work­out avail­able. “Now I’m up for any­thing, from spin­ning to box­ing. They’re all part of my rou­tine now.”

● How do you make time for fit­ness in your life as a busy en­tre­pre­neur? For me, it’s a non-ne­go­tiable. Fit­ness is a pri­or­ity in my life, just as any other meet­ing is. It’s a con­tract with my­self. I en­sure that I sched­ule it in, have a cou­ple of backup plans and stay su­per flex­i­ble.

● Do you work out ev­ery day? Yes, in some form or an­other. It could be dance prac­tice, an ex­er­cise class or the oc­ca­sional out­door run. It has be­come part of my life­style.

● How many classes do you typ­i­cally do in a week? Be­tween five and 10. I keep it var­ied so it’s never bor­ing.

● What are some of your favourite work­outs so far? I hon­estly love ev­ery class that I’ve tried. But as a dancer, I’d have to say barre. It helps me build ex­tra re­fine­ment in my body and move­ment.

● Tough­est class you’ve tried? Aerial yoga is pretty up there (pun not in­tended). It’s chal­leng­ing to use your own body weight to lift your­self.

● What’s your fit­ness mantra? Do what you love. Fit­ness should be a joy in your life, never an obli­ga­tion or you won’t stick with it. You have to make it fun, and do things that you en­joy. If you haven’t found that yet, just keep on try­ing some­thing new.

● What up­com­ing plans and as­pi­ra­tions do you have for ClassPass? You’ll con­tinue to see us ex­pand into new fit­ness cat­e­gories and at the same time, mas­sive global ex­pan­sion! We have an­nounced plans on launch­ing in Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and many more.

● Can you pre­dict 3 fit­ness trends for 2019? Firstly, a stu­dio boom. Fit­ness is one of the fastest grow­ing in­dus­tries and I think we’ll be see­ing gyms sprout­ing up in the same way you can find a Star­bucks out­let at ev­ery cor­ner. Se­condly, more dig­i­tal plat­forms cater­ing to fit­ness lovers. I ex­pect a higher de­mand for plat­forms that sup­ple­ment an ac­tive life­style. Thirdly, I think be­ing ac­tive will be­come a so­cial norm. You’ll see more peo­ple walk­ing around in ac­tivewear, and it’ll hope­fully be less strange for em­ploy­ees to tell their bosses about go­ing for work­out classes in the mid­dle of the day.

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