Technology is our backbone to delivering a world-class user experience.
In the first edition of our #BeyondTheAlgorithm series, we embarked on a journey to highlight the remarkable achievements of our Technology and Engineering teams at Dream11. In this blog, Pradip Thoke, VP of Data Engineering, Dream11, shares his inspiring story of dedication, and perseverance that has helped shape the company’s engineering prowess.
Pradip started his innings in February 2018 and has been knocking it out of the park ever since. Whether as an opener or a night watchman, Pradip wears many hats and consistently stands at the wicket for the Dream Team.
In a career spanning over a decade and a half, Pradip started as a data engineer and later, ventured into product development and big data. Following his passion for cricket combined with his tech expertise, he joined us at Dream11.
Inspired by the perseverance and resilience exhibited by his role model - Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Pradip's passion played a key role in shaping our data engineering excellence. Let's take a look at his journey so far!
Let’s go back to the very beginning. What inspired you to pursue data science/ engineering?
I have always had a deep fascination for the extraordinary power of data and its ability to provide meaningful insights and foster innovation. It all started during my engineering journey when I was introduced to the captivating realm of database management and data warehousing. Organizing and harnessing data in decision-making captivated me, and I was fortunate to begin my career in this domain.
Over the last 15 years, I have witnessed exponential growth in the scale of data, accompanied by remarkable technological advancements, including the rise of AI/ML and now the cutting-edge GenAI. These ongoing transformations have only served to heighten my sense of awe and intrigue. The data space continues to evolve, offering an ever-expanding landscape of possibilities, and I find it truly fascinating to be a part of this incredible journey.
Now that we know this, what motivated you to join the sports technology industry? And what exciting problems are you solving for sports tech?
After working with several MNCs, I wanted to join a startup. As fate would have it, an opportunity with Dream11 presented itself and since then, we have been engaged in remarkable endeavours within the sports tech domain.
We have made amazing strides in our journey starting with successfully managing unprecedented scale and real-time decision-making. Our unwavering commitment to delivering a world-class user experience has been the driving force behind our accomplishments.
Please share a moment when you felt like you’d hit a home run at Dream11
In late 2018, we started seeing massive data and user growth. We had a unique challenge with flexibility and the speed for data availability at such a large scale, which supports us with quicker decision-making. We decided to embark on our In-house Self Serve Data Platform journey and within a short span of six months, the team set up the platform from the ground up. Even today, we continue to build on top of the same strong data foundational layer. Those initial six months provided us with a solid starting point that led to where we are now. It felt incredibly rewarding, just like hitting a home run.
How do you and your team work towards providing a world-class user experience on the Dream11 app?
Our team is driven by a culture of experimentation and a solid commitment to working with the latest tech to deliver a world-class user experience for sports fans.
With a user-first approach, every decision is taken to address a user's needs. We continuously experiment and iterate, pushing the boundaries to uncover innovative ways to enhance engagement. Leveraging cutting-edge technologies, including data analytics and AI, empowers us to gather valuable insights and deliver personalised experiences to our users. This commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements allows us to provide real-time updates, seamless functionality, and gamified interactions that resonate with our users' passions for sports.
By fostering a culture that values experimentation and prioritizes the user, we are dedicated to creating an app that not only meets but exceeds the expectations of sports enthusiasts, making Dream11 the ultimate destination for an unparalleled fantasy sports experience.
What makes Dream11 different from other technology startups?
It all starts with our workplace - a Stadium-inspired workplace that fosters a strong sports-themed atmosphere, encouraging everyone to perform like players, giving their best.
Our culture is deeply ingrained in data-driven decision-making, where every Dreamster takes ownership and sees projects through to the finish line. Our perseverance is reflected in our approach to work.
Our focus on offering a world-class user experience is the driving force behind everything we do.
For all of us, Dream11 means having the opportunity to experiment, tackle challenges, and solve problems with the power of data. We leverage the latest advancements in Data and AI technologies, empowering our team to push the boundaries of innovation.
What do you think about Mumbai becoming India’s next technology hub in India?
In recent years, Mumbai has witnessed a remarkable surge in the number of startups, with notable success stories like Dream11, the largest sports tech company. Mumbai's growing prominence in the tech landscape has also led to its recognition as the third-largest base for tech startups, solidifying its position in India's technology ecosystem.
As an economic and financial hub, Mumbai has immense potential to help tech companies grow. The city's dynamic entrepreneurial spirit, access to ample capital, and presence of prestigious educational institutions have cultivated a talented workforce and a pool of skilled professionals. Moreover, Mumbai's strategic geographical location further enhances its appeal as an ideal business base, catering to domestic and international interests.
Dream11, the world’s largest fantasy sports platform, is at the heart of emerging sports tech in India. In line with our cultural tenets of DOPUT (Read: Data-Driven, Ownership, Perseverance, User-First and Transparency), we foster an environment of experimentation and innovation to deliver world-class user experiences.
In our #BeyondTheAlgorithm series, we dive into the heart of the action to capture the success journeys of our Dreamsters. We capture what motivates them to bring their ‘A’ game to the Stadium.