“I haven’t looked back ever since,” said ClassPass founder and Executive Chairman Payal Kadakia of quitting her job to pursue the startup, which simplifies workouts for people by providing an app and website where they can digitally book fitness classes with ease.
Her friend and mentor Anjula Acharia, an investor at venture capital firm Trinity Ventures, had told Kadakia – who was struggling to find a dance class after work in New York City – to just “go for it.” “That day changed my life,” Kadakia described. “10 years ago, she saw what I was going to become before I did.”
Acharia was Kadakia’s “one connection,” the person who encouraged, supported and inspired her throughout her career. As part of Bumble Bizz’s “One Connection” series, which highlights the stories of five influential businesspeople and the connections that helped them succeed, Kadakia shares why teamwork and networking are essential for professional – and personal – growth.
Launched in July as a new mode within the popular Bumble app, which empowers women to make the first move in dating, friendship and business, Bumble Bizz lets users quickly connect by swiping on other professionals for mentoring, networking, and more.
Making that “one connection” has never been easier. It’s like finding your networking guru, as Kadakia did with Acharia, who are both accomplished women of South Asian descent and happen to share similar interests and background experiences. Watching another strong, bright South Asian businesswoman succeed was inspiring, Kadakia says. Together, they are a powerhouse.
“You can’t accomplish anything without a team,” explained Kadakia, who also oversees more than 200 staff. Since launching in 2013, ClassPass has facilitated more than 40 million reservations in 39 cities globally. “I seek to inspire my team by giving them free rein to shine. I want them to feel empowered to challenge themselves and grow.”
The best way to do something in life, she says, is with great people at your side. “At the end of the day, it’s about genuinely connecting with people as real humans. We were put on earth to connect.”
ClassPass is all about that one connection. The company’s vision statement is “every life fully lived.” ClassPass has a mission to inspire people to live by connecting them to soul-nurturing experiences. Bumble Bizz has the same goal, and for entrepreneurs like Kadakia, who used to struggle when walking into a room full of strangers, networking has become less intimidating and more accessible.
Bizz users provide short bios so others understand their objectives and who they are. “You end up finding the people you’re meant to,” Kadakia said. “It’s amazing if they’re right at your fingertips.”
If you put the energy out there, she continues, you’ll find your “one connection.” “I’m excited about Bumble Bizz because I want to continue to change other peoples’ lives the same way Anjula and others have improved mine. They helped me get to where I am today.”
Discover your One Connection on Bumble Bizz today!