Sports-tech company Dream Sports is planning to hire more than 200 people over the next 12 months across various roles -- including product strategy, analytics and data science -- in line with the rapid growth being clocked across its business verticals.
Founded in 2008 by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, Dream Sports is backed by investors, including Tiger Global, TPG Tech Adjacencies, ChrysCapital, TCV, Kalaari Capital and Steadview Capital Management, among others.
Dream Sports operates various businesses like Dream11 (fantasy sports platform), Fancode (digital sports platform that personalises content and commerce for sports fans), DreamSetGo (sports experiences platform) and DreamPay (payments solutions provider).
"We have a headcount of nearly/about 700 people right now. Our headcount in January 2020, just before the pandemic, was around 320 people. We have nearly doubled in the last 18 months. What we''re looking to hire now - from this 700, we might grow to about 900 people in the next 12 months," Dream Sports Chief Human Resources Officer Kevin Freitas told PTI.
Nearly 80 percent of the new hiring will be in core jobs - product, tech and design and the remaining 20 per cent will be for support functions like human resources, finance, legal and marketing, he added.
"A lot of this (hiring) is in product strategy, analytics, front-end, data science and mobile security, largely because we are an online business, so you will see a lot of these roles largely in the domains of product, tech, design," he said.
Freitas said while a majority of the company's hiring has been experienced professionals, it will hire about 60 people from campuses this year.
"We do understand that it's an investment that we need to make but our belief, and whatever we have seen happening over the last two years, we''ve hired people from the IITs and NIT, is that they've worked out really well, they''ve latched on far better, their adaptability and their learning is phenomenal," he stated.
Freitas said the company's employee retention rates have been high at 93 per cent in 2020-21.
Apart from the "top of the market" pay packages, employees get several perks and benefits, including a "learning wallet".
"We believe that Dream Sports is a great place for on-the-job learning, and this needs to be supplemented by the pursuit of learning new concepts that every Sportan (employees at Dream Sports) can apply at work. Sportans can avail of this benefit for every financial year of which Dream Sports will bear 80 percent of the costs," he said.
Employees can themselves choose the courses and certification that they want to take up without the organisation selecting it for them, Freitas added.
Interestingly, all Dream Sports employees work out of its Mumbai office that the company refers to as the ''stadium''.
Asked if the company would look at a hybrid work model, Freitas said the company is focused on the requirements of its employees and will take a call accordingly.
"I think you need to adapt and change as times progressed and I think this pandemic has given us a pretty good idea of how the work-from-home situation works. We're largely a user-first organisation," he noted.
Freitas cited a recent survey among employees, wherein a large number wanted to resume work at the office from August after completing vaccination or after IPL was done.
"I believe that our Stadium will still continue to grow, we're not going to go through a path of fully remote," he added.
After the pandemic disrupted businesses globally, organisations across industries (especially tech) are looking at embracing a hybrid working model by allowing employees to work from the office for a few days a week and remotely on others.