Tag - India

How social networking helps in crowdfunding

They call it social media culture, and, if you are thinking to join the crowdfunding community, you sure need to get acquainted with the social media culture and its inter-relation with crowdfunding. The latter has been a part of our life, knowingly or unknowingly: one of the major reasons being its presence in the social networking space, including – Facebook, Twitter, Google, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, and many others – to fuel a campaign and reach out fast and far among the masses.

Did you know that there are approximately 243 million Indian internet users who connect like an extended family through social media? Today, as crowdfunding gains momentum in the market – so much so that in 2014 crowdfunding raised $16.2 billion globally, and is all set to make it $34.4 billion in 2015 (according to 2015CF – Crowdfunding Industry Report) – arguably, the most important point to be made has to do with approval and buzz created from potential donors on social media platforms. It’s always better to choose the right platform and use them to the best of their potential. You ask how? We give you the answer:

Facebook – Promote your campaign page by sharing the url, photos, videos, and timely updates about the campaign on Facebook. Keep announcing the project/campaign status and thank your followers. This in turn helps you to get more likes, shares. Do not forget to promote the rewards. Facebook is the most browsed social site with a large base of 100 million users. You just need to use it wisely.

Twitter – Facebook should be linked with your Twitter account so that an update on Facebook gets automatically tweeted. A short and crisp message or news feed can make a big difference. India has 33 Million users. Tweets should be added as the campaign proceeds and you can always retweet your followers with a reward link. Pretty cool, eh?!

LinkedIn – Mostly used by professionals , LinkedIn has 26 million users. It is a great platform to market a campaign to raise funds. When you know your target community, it becomes even easier to choose the right social networking platform. Now, all you need to do is respond quickly and interact with every member who is linked with you through LinkedIn.

Google+ – Heard about Google ads? That’s right; Google+ helps you to build communities through Google ads, videos, and blog posts. They now have a new feature called +Post Ads where you can advertise through Google Display Network. India has second most users of Google+ after US and thus reaches a larger audience with its numerous sources and gives your campaign ample exposure.

Blogs – The real story behind a campaign needs a tad more explanation and emotion. Blogs tell a story but there are a few things that you need to keep in mind while writing them. More than 10 million Indians use blog as a medium to convey a message. The right thing is to get the purpose of the campaign clearly backed by social proof. Connect with your readers through words at an emotional level.

Tip to remember: Do stay in touch with them: one thing Ketto always tries to maintain. Every person associated with Ketto is one of us. As we say, “We believe in the power of you.”

So, the next time you start a campaign, better follow the social networking regime diligently. After all, it is an insanely simple yet effective way for improving your funder base. It is sure to find you a very large audience indeed.

5 Reasons why you must start a Crowdfunding Campaign for an entrepreneurial venture

Dreaming doesn’t cost a penny. True. But, to bring those dreams to life, you need capital.

Usually we have an idea, a product, or a service to provide to the masses, but no capital to bring them to life. I suggest, before the idea rots, try your hands on crowdfunding on India’s biggest crowdfunding platform – Ketto. It helps entrepreneurs understand how to prepare and present their proposals in a manner that attract their target audience and angel investors.

21st century advances have made life a lot easier. It’s time you fire up the enthusiasm within, and raise funds for your own venture online on our crowdfunding platform. Apart from simply raising funds for your venture, crowdfunding has a lot more to offer in exchange.

Here are five reasons that make crowdsourcing advantageous:

For entrepreneurs:

1. Feedback before launch

Along with raising funds, Ketto gives you a chance to test your product, so that even if your offering falls flat on face in the online space, you will be able to fix the problem areas before launching it in the market. On the other hand, if your product gains attention, you know you’re on the right track! A pretty safe attempt, right?

2. Upfront cash to bootstrap your business

Paucity of capital draws entrepreneurs to alternative funding methods, out of which crowdfunding proves to be the most effective one. Fundraising for a start-up can exponentially increase productivity by providing upfront cash to bootstrap a start-up business.

3. An already-established customer base before launch

If you are in the testing phase of your venture, a reward-based crowdfunding campaign – where you give away your product as a reward to the backers – can create a customer base for your product before it is out in market.

For customers:

4. Experience the exclusive service/product unavailable in the market

A backer gets a first-hand experience of using an exclusive product/service they would love to use, even before it’s launched in the market, making it even cooler for the customer! They get perks in forms of rewards and experiences in exchange of money.

5. Early bird prices

In the initial phase of testing a product or service, a backer can bag spiffy gadgets and exclusive offers at a reduced price. Once it’s available to the market after a successful crowd funding campaign, its price is sure to skyrocket! Isn’t it better to grab them before?

Choose success as a choice

Whether you have a fledging business or a start-up facing significant challenges in accessing capital from traditional sources, fundraising can be your saviour.

Ketto empowers you with the power to be successful. Start an entrepreneurial fundraising campaign on our website and take your venture to new heights. Because… Success is never an accident. It’s a choice.

All you need to know about Ketto’s new offering ‘Experience’

While our country adapts to the concept of crowdfunding in full boom, Ketto makes it even cooler with the launch of a new section called ‘Experience’. As the reward-based crowdfunding platform – Ketto – blossoms on the public stage for getting a variety of causes funded, its new section aims at strengthening the funder base by offering exciting gifts in exchange of donations to the causes.

So, what exactly an ‘Experience’ is?

Basically, a campaigner’s chance to reward his/her backers with one-of-a-kind experiences, including – limited edition passes/tickets, autographed articles or copies of the creative work being produced.

Ketto’s Exclusive Experiences

Since its inception, Ketto has tried to make crowdfunding an exciting ride for its campaigners as well as backers. As much as the cause of a campaign matters, the exhilarating experience counts equally. Experience is just another way to multiply the goodness – in an action, for an action.

To give you a fairer idea, let’s have a walk back Ketto’s memory lanes:

  • The chance to promote ‘Bang Bang’ with Hritik Roshan for a day around Mumbai by donating INR 75,000 to a campaign by TIGI Foundation.
  • The chance to hang out with Aamir Khan on the sets of his last film ‘PK’ by donating INR 75,000 to an animal shelter welfare
  • The chance to work out with Imraan Khan or a spin in his Ferrari as a reward for donating INR 50,000 to TIGI Foundation

…and many others.

How can NGOs benefit from ‘Experience’?

As the revenue generated by nonprofit organsations is plugged back into projects and activities, costs offset. Marketing and selling their exclusive products as experiences could mean wider distribution of development material and diversification of revenue sources.

For the sustainable development of the society, an experience can be just another way of luring more backers to causes that need urgent attention. Celebrity gifts, mementos, gift vouchers, artwork or any other valuable product or service can be put as an experience on Ketto.

Many NGOs already produce and sell products, such as publications, publicity materials, and locally made handicrafts through traditional means of marketing and distribution. If the same NGO puts these articles/offers as experiences on our website, there are chances the NGO can reach a wider audience.

How does it work?

A backer can bag the experience by following the three steps as mentioned:

  • Type in www.ketto.org/experiences in the address bar
  • Choose your favourite experience from the list
  • Donate to the cause and bag the experience

Start exploring

To anchor this open-ended relationship between campaigners and their backers, the coherence of NGO offerings to backers can draw a greater contribution to social improvement.

Wait no more. List down the experiences now!

PS: Don’t fret if you can’t differentiate between a reward and an Experience. Team Ketto is always there to help.

Crowdfunding: An aberration in the landscape of fundraising for charitable causes?

At a time when India is making rapid strides to the moon and having other technological advancements, a fraction of the society is still underprivileged. While many a times, we see the government support them, it’s majorly the philanthropic institutions and charities that are trying to help the cause.

Did you know, in our country, there exist approximately 32 lakh NGOs striving to make our society a better living place for the less privileged? Since most of these non-profits exist in the remote areas of our country, their effort goes in vain. So, how can we get them in picture?

To make it a smoother ride for such non-profits, crowdsourcing, one of the oldest process of soliciting contributions from a large group of people from an online community, proves to be a boon. Of all the innovative advances in the online methods of raising funds, the most remarkable has to be the upsurge of online fundraising websites including India’s largest fundraising platform – Ketto.

Check out how charities can support their mission on Ketto – quickly and efficiently!

Ketto multiplies force

Crowd funding on Ketto multiplies the effort to help the needy by gathering a large number of people from varying sectors of society. One person cannot be the change. We, as human beings, need to have complete unanimity in order to bring a revolution. The largest fundraising platform in India does exactly that!

‘Cause crowdfunding on Ketto is cool, fast and efficient

With times changing, outlooks too have undergone a paradigm shift. Processes are no different. Today, when the youth is driven by  the fast and cool lifestyle, the concept of obtaining monetary support online for a cause has hit a home run. It is one of the coolest, and not to mention, the fastest way to gather funds for a cause.

While some organizations and people prefer doing it through live crowdfunding shows, Ketto provides you an online platform to reach a larger number of masses in seconds. Undoubtedly, making it the most resourceful manner of raising funds online.

Charitable causes demand attention

Look at it this way. While crowdfunding is not a cent percent success all the time, it does accomplish a major purpose of educating the masses about the nation’s social issues.

Even if a person doesn’t donate, a little bit of chatter around the subject is most likely to result into a greater support for a cause from his/her friends, family and the extended chain.

Wait no more, start a campaign!

Charities have been constantly working day-in and day-out to solve various problems pertaining in our society. We have an endless list of concerns to look after. It’s time you take the initiative.

Crowdfunding education on Ketto: An online revolution lifting burden from NGOs and individuals

Ever thought how different life would have been, had your parents not sent you to a school? We are definitely fortunate enough to have had a stable educational journey. But, not everyone is as lucky as the educated minority–as us! You wish life was that easy on those underprivileged, who are gifted with the same amount of brains, but are never pushed across the boundary, due to lack of funds.

That has spurred several charities and NGOs to take a notice of our youth’s living rawness. Though the landscape seems to be changing, but at a snail’s pace, you would agree. We need more, much more. Perhaps raising money from a large number of people usually in small increments, via the Internet might help?

Crowdfunding essentially. Just imagine the magnitude of impact it can possibly create if our population of 1.5 billion decide to come along to increase the literacy rate? (That massive number… Woah!)

Crowdfunding is for anyone and everyone

In this materialistic world, dreams are expensive. Especially the ones that involve education. Gone are those days when crowdfunding used to be an alien concept: to learn as well as to execute. With the advent of internet, it’s become much easier. Almost anyone and everyone can start a campaign on our website to raise funds in support of the marginalised of the society as well as for themselves.

We have already talked how crowdfunding – the new kid on the block is proving to be an effective tool. Remember Shweta Katti’s story? (A girl, born and raised in the red light area of Mumbai, was sent to the USA by raising funds for her education on our platform). There are more of such examples that have changed lives. Let it be your turn to start a campaign next.

How does Ketto help in the execution of the cool concept of crowdfunding?

Whether you are an NGO supporting education as your cause, or a student who needs funds to pay that pesky tuition fee, Ketto is the platform for what you’re looking for to fund everything from paper and crayons to tomorrow’s next big discovery.

When we say, crowdfunding is an easy and productive method to raise funds from a large number of mass, we mean it.

You ask, how? We give you the answer:

  • Crowdfunding helps you pay in-full for education by spreading the costs among numerous contributors all over the world (less stress)
  • Instead of graduating with thousands and lakhs of rupees of student debt, students can choose to use Ketto to fund college and graduate school. It completely slashes out bank loan as an option (relief, right?!)
  • It doesn’t cost a penny on Ketto, you can simply start your campaign by signing up on our website
  • It’s as easy as Facebook, no kidding! (If you still find it difficult, Team Ketto is there to help, don’t worry!)

India, as a developing country has seen movements like Teach for India taking our country by a storm in recent times. Just like TFI, there exists a massive number of NGOs which are striving hard to make a visible difference in the life of children living in rural areas.

Education is deemed to be the primary concern for our nation. As they say: Padhega India to Badhega India (Education is the key to India’s success). It’s time to cheer up, buck up and fire up your dream to go abroad for higher education, or give the underprivileged their right to education. It’s time you grab your key to tomorrow on Ketto.

Bhakti Sharma Does It Again!

Open-water swimmer Bhakti Sharma Tweets about breaking world record

Ketto is proud to be part of world record holder, open-water swimmer Bhakti Sharma’s amazing success.

If you were to meet her in passing, Bhakti Sharma would seem like just another twenty-something lass, making her way into adulthood. If you were to delve just a little bit deeper, you would realise you’re in the presence of some incredible talent.

This young lady is an open-water swimmer par excellence. Why are we using a superlative to describe her? Why a fancy French one at that? Because it’s a spot on description of the talented young lady! After all, Bhakti has just broken all kinds of world records! She just set a new world record by swimming 1.4 miles of the freezing Antarctic Ocean (it was at a temperature of one degree Celsius), in an amazing 52 minutes.

And that’s not all. She has now swum in all five oceans of the world, in addition to other water bodies. “I’ve broken the #WorldRecord for being the ‘Youngest swimmer in the World to #swim in all oceans’,” she Tweets. Bhakti has conquered the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and now the Antarctic Ocean. She’s also swum the English Channel, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean Sea and others.

Why is Ketto bursting with pride and excitement? Because Bhakti Sharma campaigned on our website and successfully raised nearly 8 lakhs for her swim in the Antarctic Ocean, dedicating it to girl-child education. We are proud as peacocks to be part of Bhakti’s mission to conquer the Antarctic and the world!

Bhakti adds, “I have just broken a World Record for my country, #India! Thank you all for your #support!” In a country where most sports (save cricket) are severely marginalized, we’re honoured to be able to provide talented sportspeople an avenue to gather support. Ketto is proud to be part of Bhakti’s success and India’s progress.

Here’s to more laurels for Bhakti Sharma and for India!

Want to know more about Bhakti? Click me!
Want to check out her campaign? Click me!
Want to gather support for your own talent? Click to get started!

The Year That Was (Highlights of 2014)

Review of year 2014

Catch the highlights of Ketto’s journey through the year 2014.

By co-founder and CEO, Varun Sheth

The year 2014 has been eventful, to say the least. We launched Ketto 2.0 in June 2014 and it’s been one milestone after the next since. The second half of year 2014 amazed us. Over 300 campaigns ran on Ketto this past year.  Over 6000 supporters rallied together from more than 20 countries to raise above Rs.2 crore for some awesome, heartfelt causes. There were some incredible campaigns that really showed the world what generosity of spirit is all about.

It’s been an incredible journey for Ketto. We saw a huge rise in individual participation, with people starting their own campaigns for social change. We also launched a new feature called the “microsite” which allows NGOs, events & corporates to run their own fundraising website on the Ketto platform.

We’ve rounded off the year with more amazing developments. Ketto has now opened its doors to creative projects. So artistes, musicians, filmmakers, creators of all kinds can now start crowdfunding their creative projects on our crowdfunding website. Talk about ending the year with a bang!

We can’t wait for 2015 to get started!

Here are just a few highs to remember 2014 by.

sportsSports

Indians came together to support their sportspeople. Several campaigns were run by and for Olympic Gold Quest and GoSports Foundation. Luger Shiva Keshavan, speed walker KT Irfan, rifle shooters Ayonika Paul and Pooja Ghatkar, discus thrower Vikas Gowda, para-athlete Rajni Jha and swimmer Supriyo Mondal are just some of the wickedly talented sportspeople who got the funds they needed to train and participate in the Winter & Youth Olympics, Asian games and commonwealth games! And yes, they won several medals along the way!

 

marathonsMarathons

There have been several marathons that campaigners have used to propel their social causes forward. Hyderabad Marathon, Bengaluru Marathon, Mumbai Marathon, Boston Heartbreak Marathon are just a few. Then there was Pinkathon, the marathon event that raised awareness for breast cancer. Several marathoners chose to start campaigns to raise both awareness and funds for breast cancer treatment. Footsteps4Good was another themed marathon that asked participants to fundraise for a social cause. Several participants chose to do it online on Ketto, much to our pleasure!

 

animal welfareAnimal Welfare

Our furry friends were not forgotten. TIGI Foundation ran an amazing campaign to build an animal shelter. The NGO pulled out all the stops by organizing a football event and promoting it with a campaign on Ketto. Bollywood stars like Hrithik Roshan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Imraan Khan and several others attended and played on the football field. All in support of TIGI’s fundraising campaign. What an event it was!

It wasn’t all glitz and glam though. NGO Alokparna Sengupat ran a campaign to protect animals from being needlessly sacrificed at Gandhimai, raising funds and awareness for the noble cause.

 

Womens EmpowermentWomen’s Empowerment

Women’s empowerment took a big step this year. The NGO YUWA joined forces with the channel Star Sports to help send a football team consisting of Jharkhand’s tribal girls to participate in the USA Cup. They ran multiple campaigns and promoted their cause on television as well. The result? Well, the girls went to the USA Cup and did India proud.

Khabar Lahariya, a rural-language newspaper run entirely by rural women, ran a massive 12th anniversary campaign to keep their groundbreaking newspaper going strong. Many individuals started campaigns in support of the newspaper, and their anniversary campaign certainly was a happy one!

 

kashmirDisaster Relief

The devastating Jammu & Kashmir floods saw Ketto spurring into action. We partnered with Care India and within minutes, help began to pour in from all corners of the globe. Celebrities like Hrithik Roshan, Varun Dhawan, Abhishek Bachchan, Kunal Kapoor, Dia Mirza and Nargis Fakhri began campaigns in aid of the flood victims. Fans of the celebrities rallied in support of their favourite actor’s campaign and some even began their own campaigns to support the cause further. The initiative showed the true spirit of our nation’s people.

 

healthHealth

Jasmeet Singh Gandhi ran an amazing campaign for the cause of childhood eye cancer. He called his campaign Umeed 1000, and chose to bicycle 1,000 kilometres from Mumbai to Bengaluru to raise awareness and funds to treat children affected by retinoblastoma (eye cancer). This incredible campaigner promoted his cause heavily and drew in seven corporate sponsors in addition to individual supporters. What a campaign this was!

 

educationEducation

The red light area and all its inhabitants may be taboo in polite society, but people sure did come together in support of a worthy cause. Shweta Katti, the daughter of a sex worker, had earned a scholarship to study at New York’s Bard University but needed funding for living and other expenses. Her campaign on Ketto got her all the funding she needed. This was a campaign that brought a young girl’s dream to life!

 

dcbEmployee Engagement & Hiring

Here are some heartwarming campaigns with Corporate Social Responsibility. DCB Bank used Ketto’s crowdfunding platform as a task for one of their recruitment rounds. Several prospective employees were given a deadline within which to raise as much as they could for the Jammu & Kashmir flood victims. A healthy competition with heart!

 

personalPersonal Causes

We had some fascinating campaigns run by people for their own noble causes. Like Bhakti Sharma, an open-water swimmer, who campaigned to raise funds to swim the Antarctica (the coldest ocean on Earth). There was also the campaign for teenage karate prodigies Bhavisha Singh, Sharmila Gharu and Divya Kathawate that gathered hundreds of supporters. The girls have won hundreds of medals but are still unknown. Logical Indian decided to campaign for the teenagers and hundreds of very logical Indians joined the effort too!

Then there’s Vivek Vashist’s memorable campaign. A Teach for India fellow, he planned to bicycle from Delhi’s India Gate to Mumbai’s Gateway of India to raise awareness about the environment and funds to participate in the International Antarctic Expedition. What an inspiration!

And the most endearing campaign of them all is for Vijayan and Mohanna, an elderly Kochi couple who owns a little tea stall. What is so inspiring about them is that they have travelled the world with the earnings they make. They take a loan to travel and then work the next three years to repay the loan. The news website The News Minute decided to campaign to help them visit the United States since their age is causing banks to reject loans. The campaign raised a good amount for the Kochi couple, and we wish them happy journeys!

 

Social EntrepreneurshipSocial Entrepreneurship

Aakar Innovations, a for-profit social enterprise founded by two young and passionate social entrepreneurs, began a brilliant campaign to raise awareness and funds for women’s empowerment. Their initiative involved not only educating underprivileged women on sanitary habits but teaching them how to make low-cost sanitary pads and promote sanitary awareness. A truly empowering initiative!

The year that was has been an amazing ride for Ketto. We can’t wait to see what the future holds. Here’s to the future. Here’s to a better world. Here’s to seeing some incredible creative projects come to life. To infinity and beyond!

– Varun Sheth

The Birthday Campaign (Radhya’s First-Birthday Campaign)

Save The Children

These doting parents weren’t just thinking of a big bash for their daughter’s first birthday. They were thinking of something on a much larger scale…

Vasuprada and Pradyumna Dalmia are the doting parents of now one-year-old Radhya. In the period leading up to their daughter’s very first birthday – a momentous occasion for any parent – the couple wanted to do something truly significant. They wanted to make sure the milestone of Radhya’s first birthday – 27th November 2014 – was something that would positively impact not just their own lives and that of little Radhya’s, but many others as well.

They weren’t just thinking of a massive birthday celebration with friends and family. They were thinking of a one-month-long birthday campaign benefitting underprivileged children in India.

The reasoning was straightforward, simple and heartfelt, as Pradyumna stated on their campaign page: “We are fortunate enough to be able to provide a safe, healthy and happy environment for our children to grow up in and would go out of our way to ensure that our kids receive the very best of everything. Unfortunately, this is not true for a lot of children across our country who live a life of deprivation and destitution. So let us provide some hope to these children and tell them they are not alone.”

Vasuprada and Pradyumna began Radhya’s month-long birthday campaign on Ketto with the aim of raising 1 lakh rupees benefitting the NGO Save The Children’s Indian chapter. They also pledged to match the total amount fundraised, urging their family and friends to help them raise a lakh so a total of two lakhs could be donated to the NGO. “This is the best birthday gift Radhya could get from you!” they told their supporters.

Who could possibly resist such a request?! Friends and family came together in strength and support for this wonderful cause. The campaign drew 24 supporters, raising a hefty 85,400 rupees within a month, to mark Radhya’s first birthday.  Adding the matching donation as vowed by Vasuprada and Pradyumna, a grand total of 1,70,800 rupees will be donated to Save The Children, India, going towards various aspects of childcare – maternal healthcare and nurturing for the health of unborn children, protecting children from child labour and child trafficking, ensuring they get a wholesome education, and providing them support during natural disasters.

What a wonderful way to usher in a child’s birthday!

Feeling inspired? Want to start a campaign too? Go for it!

 

The Silver Lining – Ayonika Paul Bags The Silver

Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) , a non-profit that promotes sports in India, began a campaign on Ketto for Ayonika Paul , a 22-year-old 10-m air rifle shooter from Mumbai, to raise INR 5 lakhs so she could train and compete on an international platform. One of the international competitions on her list was the 2014 Commonwealth Games, held in Glasgow, Scotland.

Her crowdfunding campaign not only raised its goal amount, but surpassed it by reaching INR 6,27,877 with the help of 167 supporters. One of these supporters was none other than Bollywood celebrity Amitabh Bachchan, who pledged a generous amount to sponsor two of OGQ’s athletes (Ayonika Paul and Pooja Ghatkar, both air rifle shooters) reach their goal amounts.

Getting funded successfully on Ketto helped Ayonika access the necessary gear and equipment she required to train – a 0.177 Walther Air Rifle. It also allowed her to train in Vienna under world class coach Thomas Farnik, enabling her to be on par with her international counterparts.

Ketto is thrilled to share that Ayonika Paul has won India a silver medal in the 10-Metre Air Rifle for Women at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, and is continuing to aim for more medals.

Ayonika Paul had begun her winning streak at the tender age of 18, when she made headlines with her consistent top scores. (No small feat in a country that has yet to embrace sports wholeheartedly.) Now 22 years old, Ayonika has made significant strides in the 10m Air Rifle event since.

She has won the Gold at the International Junior Shooting Competition in Munich in 2008, multiple medals in the Junior National Shooting Championships as well as the Senior National Championships, all in the face of some stiff domestic competition.

Ayonika’s journey will continue as she sets her eyes on the next international competition – the 2014 Asian Games to be held in Incheon, Korea, scheduled between September and October this year. The air rifle shooter also aims at qualifying, participating and winning at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) was founded by Indian sporting legends Geet Sethi and Prakash Padukone. OGQ is a programme of the Foundation for Promotion of Sports and Games, a Not for Profit (Section 25) Company, which is committed to bridging the gap between the best athletes in India and the best athletes in the world thus helping Indian athletes to win Olympic Gold medals. OGQ aims to create a level playing field for our athletes to enable them to be competitive at the highest level of sport.

OGQ has made the following statement regarding Ayonika Paul’s success at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games: “Olympic Gold Quest is very proud to support the training of athletes like shooter Ayonika Paul who recently won the silver medal in the 10m air rifle event of the CWG 2014. Like Ayonika, we support the training of currently 56 other athletes across 6 sports with a mission to win Olympic gold medals. However, this would not have been possible without the support of all our funders and supporters. We constantly endeavor to raise funds to support our athletes. Ketto has helped us reach out to many proud and patriotic Indians who want to contribute in a small way to see Indian athletes stand on the medal podium.”

Ketto is a virtual space where online crowdfunding for social causes is made a reality. It is where individuals, corporate and NGOs come together to effect social change by starting campaigns for causes and promoting their campaign pages among their networks to gather support and raise their funding goal.

Ketto made the following statement on Ayonika Paul’s recent silver-medal win: “We are proud to have been a part of Ayonika Paul’s journey and applaud her talent, hard work and recent success at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. We were thrilled for her successful campaign on Ketto and are thrilled further by her continuing successes. We have several OGQ athletes campaigning on Ketto and hope to see more such talented sportspeople get the support and funds they deserve to access the necessary training gear, facilities and coaching to be able to compete both nationally and internationally. We hope to assist many such talented athletes as they compete to win medals for India.”

Ace Shooter Hits Bull’s-Eye

AP

Ayonika Paul is one of four Olympic medal aspirants who, under the wing of Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ), is campaigning on Ketto to raise funds to compete with  her international counterparts.  Learn more about the ace shooter in this in-depth interview.

Ayonika Paul is a young and talented 22-year-old rifle shooter who has represented India in many international tournaments. She made her mark globally in 2008 when she won the gold medal in the International Junior Shooting Competition in Munich.

A complete all-rounder, Paul is also studying engineering in Bombay and is equally committed to sports and academics. She has won several medals in the Juniors category over the years and today she is a serious threat in the Seniors league with her consistently excellent performance. With her fierce dedication and determination, you can trust this woman to shoot a bullet right through the competition.

In this exclusive interview with Ketto, Paul speaks to us about her journey, how she balances her time between sports and academics and what she requires to make India proud at the next Commonwealth Games.

How were you introduced to this sport?

Summer holidays for me were about lazing around and also exploring different sports and arts. I indulged in many different sports like basketball, water-polo, skating and dancing, whereas swimming was a regular activity. However, when I heard about shooting I was thrilled because guns had always fascinated me. In my first inter-school competition, I scored 144 in open sight, and over time, the sport took me over. I couldn’t get enough and wanted to shoot regularly.

You are only 22 and you have achieved so much. How do you balance studies and play?

I have a good sense of time. Since I was a child, my mother would tell me that I need to first complete my studies and only then would I be allowed to go for my training. Even now that discipline works for me. Whenever I study, I am fully focused and the same applies to shooting. I carry my books during all my tournaments. I believe in quality over quantity and enjoy whatever I do each moment.

Walk us through your training regimen.

4 AM: Wake up

4.15 AM-7 AM: Study

7 AM: Breakfast

7 AM-9 AM: Nap

9.15 AM: Yoga

10 AM-1 PM: Training

1.15 PM: Lunch and Rest

2.30 PM-4 PM: Training

6 PM-7.30 PM: Swimming or Gymming and Stretching

8.30 PM: Dinner

10 PM: Sleep

How many hours a day do you  practice?

Four and a half to five hours a day.

What are the costs associated with your training?

My shooting jacket and trousers cost approximately Rs. 70,000. Shooting shoes cost Rs. 18,000. Weapons are  Rs.1,70,000. I also incur additional costs for physiotherapists and sports psychologists.
How would you compare the standard of training in India and that which is available abroad?

The past world champions and record holders are now into coaching and sharing their ideas and experiences. There is a path that they have found and they’re open to new ideas and experiments. They know how and when to peak. There is research and development on sports science, which is yet to be developed in India.

How is crowdfunding important to you and other rising athletes?

Individual sport is still not a recognized area. It is motivating for all athletes around the world to learn that our Olympic dreams are being supported by a number of people in our country. It boosts my confidence to train harder as I can go abroad for a longer training period and play more matches and leagues, thus taking me closer to the six coveted grams of gold.

Explain OGQ’s role in your life and career.

Whenever I wanted something in shooting, I asked my parents. But I realised that training under the best coaches and mental training would be too expensive. Even though I felt the need, I couldn’t ask them to fund it. OGQ has given me this opportunity. I have to walk this path to reach my destination and OGQ is the light to guide me along this journey. They have provided me with a sports psychologist and world-class physiotherapist, which is essential for me.

What systems, structures and establishments do we need in India to give Indian athletes a better chance at winning at the Olympics?

Good planning, research and development and strong belief in our athletes.

Want to help Ayonika realise her dream and bring home a medal for India? Support here!