For Deva Naik from Betim, life wasn’t a bed of roses when he decided to follow his dream of becoming a boxer. Instead it came with cuts, injuries, financial hardships and no support from the family. He fought all odds from 2007 to 2015, until he decided to quit the ring. The quite successful Deva talks to NT KURIOCITY
Danuska Da Gama
“My idol was Shiva Thapa who is the youngest Olympian. I wanted to achieve something in Boxing and since I was naughty and daring I thought I can do well,” is what Deva Naik had told NT BUZZ in 2014. At that time Deva couldn’t practise twice a day as he had to work for his father and cut fish in the fish market if he wanted to continue boxing.
No sparring partner, insufficient exposure, no supplements and proper diet meant Deva’s performance was stagnant. At 20, when most boys look for a lucrative career, Deva still hoped things would work out, but with the then federation banned, there were no national tournaments taking place.
So when he got a call to join Cult Gym in Bengaluru as a trainer, of which Hrithik Roshan is the brand ambassador, Deva took the plunge. At that time a salary of about `30,000 a month was a dream come true for the boxer who had only completed his basic education.
After gaining sufficient knowledge and experience, he was asked to join Octa Fit and that change has helped Deva in more ways than one. “I am happy here and earn quite a bit. But what is also good is that I have been able to hone skills here and will soon be promoted to head trainer,” he says.
There was a time when Deva had to struggle for fuel and his boxing kit. Today, he earns a minimum of `40,000 doing three hours of gym work. He also freelances as a personal trainer and thus has managed to increase his earnings, while working hard on his physique and building a reputation for himself.
He gives due credit to the sport he took up as in the beginning he used boxing to train clients. “Now, I have improved my language and can speak English quite well. I have learned how to train people and retain customers. And it feels good when you see people getting transformed,” he says.
He is happy with the work as he has seen so much change over the years and has understood what it takes to be part of a gym and has learned marketing, sales and much more, something he never thought he would ever learn.
“When I was a boxer I didn’t know anything about supplements. My coach didn’t know enough about it and my diet wasn’t good. But now I know it all. And I am also confident of advising people what to take,” he says talking about what his work entails.
The family business of cutting fish in the market continues till date and he says that it isn’t doing as well as before but is happy that he can contribute a basic amount for his family besides paying for his auto loan.
He has devised a circuit training which includes boxing and people, he says, are happy to learn boxing to become fit. Deva says we should care about the clients, focus on them and take care to avoid injuries.
“My aim is to become the head trainer and train others who will work under me while we expand more centres. But the ultimate aim is to open a gym in Goa after gaining maximum experience, however the overheads are too much a cost to bear,” he says.
He believes that one can achieve anything in life through hard work. However, sometimes you have to change the path and make your destiny to achieve success. “So what if I couldn’t win a national medal in boxing. I am now a working on my body, helping people achieve their fitness targets and am contemplating on bodybuilding now,” says Deva.