Meet Harsh Agrawal, Dream11’s Director of Engineering with a passion for cricket and game-changing innovation

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Let's go back to the very beginning. What inspired you to pursue data science/engineering?

From an early age, my curiosity and inclination towards STEM studies set me on the path to pursue engineering. After completing college, I found myself at a crossroads. India's booming startup ecosystem presented a unique opportunity - I felt like I could either watch it unfold from the bleachers or be an active participant and contribute to it.  I chose the latter. Starting my first stint with a small three-person company, I embarked on a journey to where I am today, at Dream11.

Now that we know this, what motivated you to join the sports technology industry? And what exciting problems are you solving for sports tech?

Joining Dream11 in October 2017 was a pivotal moment. Back then, a small yet dynamic team made significant waves within India’s tech ecosystem. The prospect of pushing the boundaries of system scalability was exhilarating. Also, my love for cricket and the complex challenges unique to Dream11, such as real-time leaderboard updates and handling a multitude of matches, further fueled my passion. Over the last six years, I've worked with various teams and portfolio companies, each presenting a distinct set of challenges.

Please share a moment when you felt you'd hit a home run at Dream11.

A transformative moment was when we tackled the issue of manual contest creation, which was becoming unsustainable due to Dream11’s rapid growth. We devised a system bridging manual and automated contest generation through a hackathon. This transition revolutionized our operations and began a series of successes for our team.

How do you and your teams work towards building a world-class user experience for sports fans on the Dream11 app?

My team focuses on building the essential tools to run fantasy operations. We recently introduced the Multi-match Fantasy product and developed the KYC platform, ensuring user identities are verified securely.

What makes Dream11 different from other technology startups?

Dream11 stands out as a workplace. Our culture isn't just a buzzword; it's our way of life. Everyone, from top management to the newest team member, commits to delivering the best experience for our users. The collaborative effort of all our teams culminates in a top-tier fantasy experience that is truly remarkable. At The Stadium (Dream11 office), we encourage asking questions and seeking data-backed answers and regardless, our users always come first.

What do you think about Mumbai becoming India's next technology hub?

Mumbai's ascent as a technology hub is undeniably exciting. It's already home to several tech unicorns and soonicorns, with Dream11 proudly leading the sports tech sector. Mumbai has become a haven for tech startups and is the third-largest base for tech startups today. The city offers many opportunities and boasts excellent connectivity, a skilled workforce, and cutting-edge infrastructure. Mumbai, the city of dreams, welcomes young visionaries to forge the next era of tech innovations, solidifying its position as India's next tech hub.

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