Harsh Anand Kumar Jain is an Indian entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and Culture Enforcement Officer (CEO) of the Indian fantasy sports platform Dream11.
Harsh Jain was born in 1986 (age 35 years; as of 2021) in Mumbai. He attended Sevenoaks High School, England, from 2001 to 2003. Subsequently, he pursued a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania (2003-2007). He then enrolled himself in the Columbia Business School, Columbia University, to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Harsh was good at sports since childhood. He actively played football in his school and college days.
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Harsh Jain is the son of Anand Kumar Jain (businessman) and Sushma Jain (painter). His father is often considered the third son of Dhirubhai Ambani. In 2007, Forbes India ranked Anand Jain on no. 19 in India’s 40 Richest list. He has a younger sister named Neha Jain. Neha is married to Anurag Bagaria who owns his own pharmaceutical company Kem well Pharma (a contract manufacturer for multinational drug companies).
Harsh Jain’s father, Anand Jain
Harsh Jain’s mother, Sushma Jain
Harsh Jain’s sister, Neha Jain
Wife & Children
Harsh Jain got married to Rachana Shah, a dentist, in 2013. The couple has a son named Krish.
Harsh Jain with his wife, Rachana Shah Jain
Harsh Jain with his wife, Rachana Shah Jain, and son, Krish
While Harsh was pursuing his bachelor’s degree in 2006, he joined Microsoft as a summer intern for three months. At Microsoft, he worked on the feasibility and commercial benefits for the company to enter the Push-To-Talk (PTT) marketplace. In 2007, he joined Jai Corp. Limited, Mumbai, as a Marketing Manager. Combining his love for sports, gaming, and technology, Harsh, along with his business partner Bhavit Sheth, founded Dream11, an Indian fantasy sports platform, in 2008.
Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth at their workplace
In July 2010, Harsh co-founded Red Digital, a social media agency in Mumbai. Within two years of its incorporation, the company managed to extend its clientele to some Indian and international conglomerates like Dell, Adidas, PVR, Berger Paints, EduComp, and Reliance Foundation. The firm was acquired by Gozoop, a marketing agency in Mumbai, in 2013. In 2017, Harsh became the President of the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports.
Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports logo
As of 2021, he is the Culture Enforcement Officer (CEO) of Dream11. The company has around 70 million registered users and 10 million paid users (as of 2021). Dream11 is the flagship brand of Dream Sports.
Harsh Jain during an official meeting
Besides Dream11, Dream Sports has also launched the following brands:
- FanCode– India’s premier digital multi-sports destination
- Dream Capital– Corporate Venture Capital and M&A arm of Dream Sports
- KheloMore– a one-stop destination for sports venues (cricket grounds, football turfs, and grounds, badminton courts, tennis courts)
- DreamSetGo– India’s first premium bespoke sports travel and experiences platform
- DreamX– a sports accelerator
- Dream Sports Foundation– Philanthropic arm of Dream Sports that provides comprehensive support and assistance to deserving individuals and organisations
In 2017, a case was registered against Harsh’s company Dream11 in the Rajasthan High Court. The petitioner had termed Dream11 as a play of sheer chance involving betting on the cricket team. The court, in its ruling, stated that that winning or losing in a Dream 11 game depended on the skill and knowledge of the participant. The court also held that “the element of skill” had a predominant influence on the outcome of the Dream11 game. However, the law does not allow fantasy sports in a few Indian states like Assam, Odisha, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh. A challenge to this judgment was filed with the Supreme Court of India, which dismissed the appeal and allowed the company to run its operations throughout the country.
Earlier, Harsh Jain was earning a salary of Rs. 1.2 crore per annum from his company Dream11, but in April 2020, the company raised his salary to Rs. 4 crores per annum.
- Travel Destination: Spain
- Football Team: Manchester United
- Harsh loves travelling and playing football in his leisure time. He also likes spending his free time with his four pet dogs at his Lonavala home.
- In 2021, amid the geopolitical tensions between India and China, Harsh claimed that his company Dream11 would not raise funds from Chinese investors in the future. Apparently, in March 2021, Tencent Holdings Ltd., a Chinese multinational held around 10% shares of Dream Sports.
- During an interview, when asked what prompted him to start a fantasy sports website, Harsh said,
I have been an avid fantasy football (EPL) fan since 2001 and when the IPL began in 2008, I went looking to play fantasy cricket online. It was shocking to see that in a country like India, where cricket is watched by 800 million people, fantasy cricket was non-existent. So my co-founder Bhavit and I thought this was a perfect problem for us to solve. After a few years of experimenting with different formats on Dream11, we found a market-fit product with single-match freemium fantasy cricket in 2012. Over the years, Dream11 has grown to become a diverse platform by offering multiple sports to a variety of sports fans in the country and has grown from 3 lakh users in 2015 to 3.8 crore users in 2018.”
- In 2019, Jain’s venture Dream11 became the first Indian gaming company to become a unicorn. A unicorn is a privately held startup company valued at over $1 billion.
- In August 2020, after Vivo made an exit from the sponsorship of the Indian Premier League, Dream11 won a three-year bid to hold the title sponsorship rights of the Indian Premier League for Rs. 2.2 billion.
- Harsh has been passionate about dogs since childhood. As a child, he used to feed stray animals near his building. Once, while he was in his teens, he brought a kitten at home and asked his parents to adopt it. However, they didn’t allow him to keep that stray cat at their house. He owns 4 pet dogs- 2 beagles and 2 alsatians.
- While Harsh was completing his graduation from Pennsylvania, his parents gifted him a beagle, Simba. Simba was Harsh’s first pet. Unfortunately, when Simba was 5 years old, he developed some serious health issues and died.
- In 2020, Harsh, along with his wife Rachana, founded Raksha Foundation, an NGO in Mumbai. The foundation aims at providing free education to underprivileged children and promoting animal welfare.
- In November 2021, Jain’s wife, Rachana Jain, purchased a luxury duplex in 33 South, Peddar Road, South Mumbai, for Rs. 72 crores.