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Any Employee Would Find It Hard To Quit After Experiencing Our Work Culture: Dream11 CHRO

A culture of ownership, transparency, data obsession and high performance that drives a user first attitude and work ethic is our secret sauce, says Kevin Freitas, CHRO, Dream11

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Dream11 offers its users playing fantasy cricket, football, kabaddi and NBA. With more than 4 crore users, it is a game of skill that offers Indian sports fans to create their own team made up of real-life players from upcoming matches, score points based on their on-field performance and compete with other fans.

Kevin Freitas, CHRO, Dream11 takes us through the work culture at Dream11, while also talking about other HR functions in the company.   

How do you integrate tech and marketing employees to make sure they gel well together?

Culture is the biggest level playing field any company can have and protect. And at Dream11, a culture of ownership, transparency, data obsession and high performance that drives a user first attitude and work ethic is our secret sauce. It would not be out of place to say that our culture is what our people experience every day and it is what makes sure that our people gel well together.

Tech employees constantly tend to look for better opportunities outside. How do you keep them engaged and keep the attrition rate down?

I think every organisation knows that they will not have people working with them forever. But it will not be fair to believe that tech employees or, for that matter, employees from any other function are constantly looking out for better opportunities. Irrespective of the business function, what people are looking for is a place that offers them freedom, work that motivates them and feeds into their passion and purpose in life. Basis our culture and employee friendly environment, I think it would take a lot for any Dreamster (Dream11 employee) to move on to any other organisation once they experience our workplace or working environment.

IPL season generally witnesses maximum attraction for fantasy leagues. Do you bring in more employees during that period? How does the company manage employees hiring and leaving?

We have automated many functions in Dream11 including the customer service. The increase in our headcount over the entire year is steady. In fact, we barely hire people during or preceding the IPL season as it is one of the busiest time for the company. We are a technology company, so we need to build our product in advance basis predictive of the user demand. 

How do you ensure fairness in promotion and hiring and keep employees happy?

Trust, impartiality and transparency are the bedrock of great cultures. Given a choice between being transparent and slow or being non-transparent and fast, we choose to be transparent. In the long run, it is often the better and faster move. Dreamsters have regular feedback loops and 1:1 discussion with their team captains to understand their strengths and areas of development. This helps them to prepare for their next role or career advancement. Knowing how much time it will take one to reach the next level in their career and be promoted is something that is openly shared with people during their appraisals. Transparency has shaped our culture to a large extent.

What are the employee benefits for working overtime? How will you manage the benefits in future? Will you bring in more or cut down the benefits?

Everyone in Dream11 is encouraged to have a good work life balance and we facilitate it by providing flexibility in work timings. All our people are dedicated and self-driven towards quality and timely closure of projects. We don't have any immediate plans to cut down on any benefits that we provide to our people as they have been created basis consistent feedback from them. We believe that when Dreamsters enjoy the benefits provided to them, they tend to share it openly in their social network. You will not find people openly posting about their salaries online, but they will happily share the benefits they enjoy. And that's why we will bring in more benefits that matter to the Dreamsters and modify or reduce those that don't matter.

How strong is the role of an HR for a small workforce in Dream11? Does a small workforce make it easier to manage?  

HR is an important function of any company especially a company on a growth trajectory. But what's more important is the way everyone who works at Dream11 steps up in making Dream11's culture great every day. Once you get people to trust each other and behave like true owners, no headcount is large enough or tough to manage.