How former Olympic swimmer Nisha Millet is harnessing the power of digital to nurture future athletes

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When Nisha Millet first learnt to swim at age nine, she realised that this was where she wanted to make a name for herself, and had set her sights on the big leagues right from the start.

“When I told people I want to go to the Olympics, they would have a good laugh. But I had a postcard of the Olympic rings taped to the side of my bed. So at 5 AM when I woke up in the morning, the first thing I saw was those Olympic rings and that's what got me out of bed every day,” she says.

Since then, there was no looking back for Nisha. She would go on to become the first Indian athlete to qualify for the Olympics for swimming in 2000. She also received an Arjuna Award, which is awarded by the government for outstanding performance in sports and games.

After swimming competitively for 14 years, Nisha found it a natural progression to take up coaching. She became the Director of the Nisha Millet Swimming Academy, which offers swimming programmes for a variety of age groups and inclinations.

“A year ago, we started our competitive programme with five swimmers. Now we have 65 kids that are doing really well. The dream is: Since I never got that Olympic medal, I would like to train that person or that swimmer who will ultimately get that gold (Olympic medal),” she says.

The increasing popularity of the academy meant Nisha and her team had to figure out the best way to manage growing registrations. “And that's when we discovered Instamojo. I can't tell you what a big difference it has made to our business because it has streamlined the process so much. Everything is digitised now, and it is so easy to bring up data,” says Nisha. One of the key payment features of Instamojo is to keep batch sizes to eight swimmers per coach, so that all of them get personalised attention.

“Since everything (on Instamojo’s interface) is online, when a batch reaches eight in strength, automatically, no more payments for that batch can be made.” Nisha further attests that the interface is very easy to use, even for those who are not as comfortable on the internet as they'd like to be. “Setting up a digital store on Instamojo is a streamlined process where you do not have to deal with cash at all, and it's made a world of a difference.“

Through Instamojo, one of India’s largest full-stack digital solutions providers for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Mastercard aims to empower millions of businesses like Nisha’s with easy to use digital solutions. This includes services for setting up online stores, digital payment acceptance capabilities and facilities to reach out to customers, even during the pandemic.

To foster digitisation among small businesses, Mastercard’s flagship initiative, Team Cashless India, also aims to educate and upskill small merchants on the benefits and practicalities of accepting digital payments such as soft point of sale (PoS) and QR on Card. Such initiatives are in line with Mastercard’s global commitment to financial inclusion, which pledges to bring one billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025.

‘Udyam registration or MSME registration is a government registration that is provided along with a unique number and a recognition certificate . All small and medium enterprises can register themselves at https://udyamregistration.gov.in/


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