Only a few well-known entrepreneurs were born with a silver spoon, and Harsh Jain is one of them. Harsh, a Mumbai native, is the son of Anand and Sushama Jain. Anand is a famous businessman, and Sushama is a painter. Harsh attended England’s Sevenoaks High School. Later, he studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He enrolled in the Columbia Business School and got an MBA from there.
He also acquired some work experience during his learning journey.
Intern to Manager
Harsh’s first major work opportunity was at Microsoft, where he had a three-month summer internship. He participated in a project. This involved Microsoft’s commercial and feasibility benefit of breaking into the Push-To-Talk communication space. Afterward, he joined Jai Corp, his father’s company. He served as the marketing manager of the manufacturing firm.
Meanwhile, he still preserved his childhood zest for sport. This was crucial in his next career adventure.
In 2008, Harsh uncovered a gap in India’s sports market. He realised there was no online fantasy cricket game. This was shocking despite India having over 800 million cricket fans. So, he explored this opportunity to offer cricket lovers something yet to be seen in India.
Harsh rubbed minds with Bhavit, his co-founder. Their thoughts birthed Dream11, India’s famous fantasy sports platform. Harsh’s startup used sponsorship to reach sports fans and partnerships to generate capital. For instance, Dream11 was the official sponsor of the IPL in 2020. It sealed the deal for Rs 222 crore. This is half the price that Vivo paid for 2022 IPL sponsorship rights.
Dream Sports, Dream11’s parent company, raised $840 million. The funds came from Tiger Global, Falcon Edge, Redbird Capital, and other investors. This funding round placed Dream11 on an $8 billion market value. Also, it’s India’s first gaming firm to join the unicorn club and also a profitable one, a rarity among startup unicorns.
In 2010, Harsh founded another business, Red Digital. It’s a social media agency, which was acquired by Gozoop three years later.
Life Outside Work
Harsh has an open heart for pets. As a child, he fed stray canines and attempted to adopt a cat. Eventually, he got his first pet as a gift and has a handful of pet dogs.
Harsh enjoys travelling and is married to Rachana Jain. They founded an NGO to make education accessible to children in struggling communities.