Natasha Prasad is an entrepreneur and seasoned business executive with a decade of experience investing in companies, launching products and building high-performing teams in global markets including London, New York, San Francisco and Sydney.
She currently head up ClassPass Australia as Regional General Manager, overseeing everything from sales and account management with 700+ amazing partners, to strategy, marketing, brand partnerships and customer experience.
We caught up with Natasha to chat travel and exercise.
Tell us a little about you. Where are you from, where are you going, what do you do for work and play, and what’s your favourite flavour of ice cream?
A I grew up mostly in the UK with an eight year interlude in New Delhi. After a few years of investment banking in London, I transferred to New York. Turned out Wall Street wasn’t my cup of tea, so I hit reset — I got my MBA at Harvard and was sucked into the tech startup scene. As a product manager, I worked in San Francisco and New York, and mostly recently in Sydney, at Atlassian. I joined ClassPass last August to help launch Australia and we’re now live with 800 partners across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide!
When I’m not working or working out, I love exploring new restaurants and recipes with my husband. I’m also a massive travel junkie and it has the added benefit of keeping my reading habit alive.
Favourite ice cream – mint chocolate chip!
Why do you travel?
A Travel for me is a way hit reset. It gives me perspective, peace and joy. I prefer to travel to remote destinations where I can disconnect from my “regular life” and immerse myself in a new environment. I’m also somewhat food-obsessed so traveling is a way to explore new cuisines.
Is travel a big part of your job, or do you make time for it outside of your career?
A I travel once or twice a month for work but it’s mostly to one of our other cities in Australia or back to headquarters in New York. I also make time to travel outside of work. I’m a fan of frequent, short trips and weekend getaways rather than longer holidays, although maybe that’s the American in me…
What’s your go-to travel hack?
A Exercise! Preferably first thing in the morning with natural sunlight. It’s the best way to get over jetlag and get your body clock accustomed to your new time zone. Your body will welcome it after however many hours of sitting on a plane / train / car.
Got any gear you can’t travel without?
A My kindle.
What are the top 3 destinations left on your bucket list?
A Myanmar, Namibia and Tierra del Fuego.
Where would you go back to?
A So many places! Norway, Sri Lanka, Japan. My favourite destinations have a rich history, inspiring natural beauty and mouthwatering food.
What do you do to stay healthy when you travel?
A When I’m traveling for work – ClassPass! We’re in 39 cities and the membership is global. It’s a great way for business travellers to exercise like locals and explore the city’s fitness scene (rather than cough up $30 for a day pass to the gym).
When I’m traveling for fun, active adventures are a core part of the itinerary — walking, hiking, skiing, tennis, snorkelling, kayaking – I love it all!
How do you stay safe when you’re travelling?
A Local SIM card + basic med Jane (my parents are doctors so this has been drilled into me).
What’s the best way to experience a destination like a local?
A AirBnB: I booked my first house in Aix en Provence in the summer of 2011 and have been hooked ever since. Also, be open to going wherever the day takes you. Everything else is so planned in my life that I’m happy to be fairly spontaneous when I travel.
What’s your favourite word in another language?
When and where are you next travelling?
A Exploring Borobudur over Easter!
Natasha’s tips on exercising off jet lag seems really solid. Definitely one to try! For more tips from Natasha follow