She could not find a ballet class in New York City, so she created one – a platform that gives customers access to thousands of boutique fitness classes in their area

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Indian-origin entrepreneur Payal Kadakia was named among the most promising businesswomen of 2015 by Fortune magazine

India At Large staff

Randolph, New Jersey-based Payal Kadakia was all set take her beginner’s ballet courses to the next level. But as luck would have it, she tried but failed to find a decent ballet class in New York City where she could enroll herself in.

“I didn’t know if the classes I was finding online were the right level for me, if they had the right teachers, or if I had even brought the right clothes with me – and all that intimidation sort of made me not go,” she told Business Insider.

“In that moment, I realised the pain point that most people must experience in staying connected to their hobbies and passions,” Fortune magazine quoted her as saying. Thus was born ClassPass, a start-up that gives customers access to thousands of boutique fitness classes in their area.

“ClassPass is only two-year-old, but it has already booked more than 7 million fitness class reservations at gyms and studios across the US, plus Canada and the UK,” Fortune magazine quoted her as saying.

The 32-year-old CEO and co-founder of ClassPass was named among the most promising businesswomen of 2015 by Fortune magazine in its annual recognition of 10 women innovators, groundbreakers and game changers in September last year.

Each year, Fortune crowns 10 innovators, groundbreakers and game changers as ‘Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs’. “From drones to metal alloys to snack foods — that covers the range of innovation coming from Fortune’s newly anointed Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs,” Fortune said.

Fortune said Kadakia’s idea tapped into a fitness craze. Now live in 39 cities globally, her $400-million start-up has changed the way people are choosing to work out. What’s more, her company makes its first move toward global expansion by opening up the service to Australians, reports Elite Daily.

The monthly membership allows users to take their pick of classes at various gyms and studios, exploring a variety of workout options throughout their city. The membership varies by city, but ranges from $79 to $125 a month for unlimited classes users can book directly on the app.

“We wanted people to walk into a studio with no prior experience and feel like they can do it – taking all the friction of picking and choosing a fitness program away,” she told Verve magazine.

“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,” added Kadakia, who graduated from MIT with a degree in Operations Research in 2005, before picking up a career in consulting at Bain & Company.

Pics courtesy: Andrew Eccles

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