An insightful conversation with Dinaz Vervatwala, an influential fitness trainer whose life journey is simply inspiring.
A calm and positive person, you will always leave with a lingering smile whenever you meet Dinaz Vervatwala. She is considered to be one of the pioneers in introducing aerobics fitness to the city and is a Guinness Book of World Records holder. Her story is inspiring and is bound to keep you motivated.
Her beginnings & struggles
Dinaz was born to a middle class Parsi family and shifted from Jamshedpur to Mumbai for her studies. She started off her career as a chartered accountant in Mumbai. But, at the age of 22, she shifted to Hyderabad and became a fitness trainer. “I have been in the fitness industry for 27 years,” says Dinaz.
“The journey was tough because, back then, there were no proper educational programmes. So, I went far and wide around the world to educate myself well. I started off without any expectations in doing anything other than doing one or two classes in a day in my home,” she adds.
Slowly, Dinaz’s fitness studio was born and it got extended to six centres with 60 to 70 trainers working under her.
Her passion in life
“Fitness and making a difference in women’s life are my passion,” says Dinaz. So, with her knowledge about fitness, she slowly approached women to help them live a healthier lifestyle and also trained them to become trainers.
“When I started, the gym culture didn’t even slip into the city. During that time, I also learned that aerobics already had a certified and structured environment. Since there was nothing more important than being certified and training people, I went for it,” shares Dinaz on being asked why she chose aerobics.
Grateful for everything
“I was an extremely meek and silent person even as a child, but, once I got into fitness, I slowly started opening up and it actually helped me to bring out the best in me,” she says.
Her highest achievement so far according to Dinaz is when she entered the Guinness Book of World Records for completing 26 hours of non-stop aerobic marathon. “Somebody has broken my record, but till date I am the only lady who has attempted this record,” she says proudly.
The big break
Owing to personal reasons, Dinaz left the city with her family thinking she’ll never come back.
“We relocated to Durgapur, West Bengal, and, there, I made use of my baking skills, which I learned in Delhi,” she says.
After that her family had to relocate to Mumbai again. “I had job offers pouring in, but somewhere down the line, I knew there was something missing. It’s not always about money, it’s important for your soul to be satisfied and be at peace,” she narrates.
“There was no warmth despite my entire family being around,” she adds. “I would ask myself what I was missing. Then, I realised I missed being a fitness trainer, my work, and I knew I was losing my identity as a fitness expert, which I had in the city,” she recalls.
After four months in Mumbai, she shifted to Hyderabad again after promising her family that she’ll return to Mumbai if nothing works out in the next six months. “I came to Hyderabad and started from the scratch. I don’t have my own studio, but I am a freelance fitness expert and I am happier,” she says. “I have found my true calling and, right now, I have no expectations from life; all I have is gratitude,” she adds.
Stepping into a new venture
Three months ago, Dinaz stepped into something new she did not think of initially. “I am currently the distributor for India of an American skin enhancement product company called Jeunesse,” says Dinaz. “Many a time women told me that they cannot go out for various reasons, but also want to earn money. So, I took the distributorship in a way to help women work from home. I am in the process of building the business and the team to take it to another level,” she adds. Dinaz was also recently announced as the brand ambassador of N Coldpressed, a Hyderabad-based juice company.
Future endeavours & family
“I am not sure if I’ll open a fitness studio again, but in whatever format, I want Dinaz’s fitness to be known worldwide and pass it as a legacy for my family. Secondly, I want to take my networking business forward,” she says.
Blessed with two sons, Dinaz very proudly says that her family has always been supportive and her kids have grown up to be responsible and compassionate. “I have noticed that both of them always look out for others as well.” When asked for a few parenting tips, Dinaz simply says, “Be a role model for your children and everything will fall in place.”
According to Dinaz, we should take care of ourselves first and to be thankful for every small thing in our life instead of thinking about what we don’t have. The fitness expert concludes by saying, “Discipline and dedication are the keys to success, so hold on to them.”