2016 SUCCESS Achiever of the Year: Payal Kadakia

UPDATED: January 10, 2017
PUBLISHED: January 10, 2017


“We’ve inspired people to be more active.”

A child of Indian immigrants, Payal Kadakia graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology determined to launch her own business. Her first two attempts failed. Kadakia then joined forces with close friend Sanjiv Sanghavi to found ClassPass, an exercise subscription service that allows users to take classes in yoga, barre, boxing, cycling and more at various fitness studios and gyms whose prices are prohibitive for most people. Initially launched in New York City, ClassPass is now available in 39 cities in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Australia. More than 8,000 studios offer classes through the app. Kadakia says she hopes to switch gears in the future to launch a subscription service similar to ClassPass that would offer enriching classes and activities (such as cooking lessons and massages) for people interested in personal growth.

  • Named one of eight women entrepreneurs to watch in 2016 by Forbes
  • $60 million in estimated ClassPass sales, with a company value near $400 million
  • Over 17 million class reservations


Read more 2016 SUCCESS Achievers of the Year stories:

2016 SUCCESS Achievers of the Year2016 SUCCESS Achievers of the Year2016 SUCCESS Achievers of the Year2016 SUCCESS Achievers of the Year2016 SUCCESS Achievers of the Year

This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

Jamie Friedlander is a freelance writer based in Chicago and the former features editor of SUCCESS magazine. Her work has been published in The Cut, VICE, Inc., The Chicago Tribune and Business Insider, among other publications. When she's not writing, she can usually be found drinking matcha tea into excess, traveling somewhere new with her husband or surfing Etsy late into the night.