Work & play: Makings of the workforce behind the India’s largest fantasy sports platform

April 4, 2022

Dream11 is, without a doubt, one of the world’s biggest fantasy sports platforms with a user base of around 12 crores. Launched in 2008, it is also the first Indian gaming company to become a unicorn (startups valued at or over $1 billion). The platform brings the on-ground frenzy of different sports like cricket, football, hockey, kabaddi and basketball to mobile screens.

Apart from all its ‘stripes’, Dream11 is also considered a really cool place to work at. The company’s chief human resource officer (CHRO), Kevin Freitas, gave us a peek into the work culture of the country’s top fantasy sports platform.

With over 800 employees running the show, Kevin said that the company was in the league of organisations projected for hypergrowth. However, the growth goes hand-in-hand with improving the work culture of the organisation. Hiring the right set of talents is one of the methods to do so.

“We prioritise skills over anything here. We hire the best talent who believe in our vision and our purpose. To find them, we rely mostly on our referral system over job hunting platforms like LinkedIn or even email. In fact, almost 50 to 60 percent of our workforce is hired through referrals,” Kevin added.

Nurturing a healthy feedback system
Despite the maddening frenzy of fantasy sports, Dream 11 maintains a 360 degree feedback system. From having monthly town hall meetings to one-on-ones, Kevin said that feedback helps both the individual and the team to grow.

“Here, we foster constructive criticisms. Everyone receiving feedback or criticism needs to understand where it is coming from. Again, one must also pay attention in the way the criticism is conveyed. No one completely dismisses criticisms or feedback. And we don’t just listen, but act upon them,” said Kevin.

Constructive feedback mechanism in the company is closely associated with the ‘No-HiPPO (highest paid person’s opinion/ highest paid person in the office) Rule’ that the team keeps in mind. It ensures that the hierarchy or job roles do not prevent the contribution of ideas from junior teammates.

“Here in Dream 11, we don’t bow down to the opinion of the highest-paid person in the room but we bow down to the best idea and the best set of data. In sports parlance, we refer to it as questioning your team’s captain. We give freedom to everyone to share their opinions before taking any decision,” Kevin said.