With a mission to help the broader sportspersons in the country, who don’t make the final cut, Dream Olympic Sports (DOS) was formed. “It’s name means exactly what it is, it is a dream,” laughs Mr. Vamsi Krishna Kondreddi, the company’s Managing Director.
Vamsi Kondreddi was working in the financial technologies industry for nearly two decades before making the shift to sports last year. “My love for sports, specifically for baseball, has been there since my school days,” he says before explaining why he always wanted to do something for sports.
“In India, everyone has an affinity towards the bat and ball game. However, when I was playing baseball, back in the 1990s, there were no platforms where I could showcase my talents, there were hardly any opportunities. So even though I spent 18 years in a different industry, in my heart, I always wanted to do something for baseball and at the same time, do something for the society.”
Dream Olympic Sports — the vision and ideology
With this in mind, Vamsi Kondreddi decided to leave his corporate job and begin an enterprise with expertise in four areas — Professional Sports, Talent Management, Sports Marketing, and Sports Digital. However, in essence, it is more of a social enterprise with three basic principles.
“There are different meanings and explanations on what a social enterprise is all about,” Vamsi Kondreddi elaborates. “But for me, for DOS, it stands for three basic principles. Firstly, doing something which has a social impact. I chose sports as an element of a transformation to have a larger social impact. Secondly, it's a for profit organisation with a self-sustainable financial model, it is able to generate its own revenue. Lastly, being environment-friendly.”
When asked about the reason why DOS has been working primarily on baseball, Vamsi Kondreddi’s answer is pretty straightforward. It’s just about a bat, ball and pitching it right, then the sport can grow in India. This is the idea with which DOS chose baseball as its primary area of focus — well, that and his personal inclination towards the sport.
“Apart from my personal affinity towards the sport, the reason we chose baseball as our primary area of focus to start off with is because of the prevalent bat and ball culture in this country. We wanted to see if we can use that to our advantage, you know, to see the potential. According to our market research, in this country, almost 10 million youngsters aspire to be a cricketer. But Team India only requires 11 players at the end of the day. So what other opportunities can we provide to the rest of the budding players who don't make the cut? We believed that one way to really tap the potential of so many youngsters with a knack for bat and ball sports is baseball,” he says.
“So, the dream with which DOS was established was to create opportunities for the broader section of the people in sports. To be honest, I have been working towards this all my life,” Vamsi Kondreddi adds.
Plans of launching Premier League Baseball in India by 2022
Talking a bit about the current projects and teams DOS represents at the moment, the Managing Director said that they have plans to launch a baseball league in India called the Premier League Baseball (PLB) by 2022 where the season would be from October to January. PLB will be a league with 8 teams from Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Guwahati, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata & Chandigarh.
“Right now we are helping investors who have already invested in the Hyderabad franchise, DOS’s function here is to support them, from front office handling, managing talents. Meanwhile, before the league actually kicks off, we are arranging for some matches abroad for the franchise, which will have two teams — one youth and one professional,” he says.
“From PLB, the best players will be selected for the All Stars team representing India. It will be called PLB India, which will be owned by DOS itself. The aspiration is this team will play in Major international leagues.
“We aim to promote the sport through exposure. If India needs to flourish in sports, we need to have the club culture, which we don’t have currently, more than an academy. Academy will focus on individualistic growth, clubs will help grow the sport holistically. Our focus is to help build the club culture and people will develop in all paths at a club. We want to pioneer in the development and make sure that there is a great structure for the players to excel,’’ he assures.
“We want to start the league in two years. In the next year, we want to achieve at least 4 players from India play in some of the Major international leagues. In the next 2 years we want PLB India team to play in one of the Major leagues. So that is our year by year goal. We will support people with talent financially and technically to excel in their sport. We have plans for other sports, but for the moment we are mainly focused on baseball.”
Vamsi Kondreddi signs off with a piece of advice to the baseball enthusiasts who want to make baseball a professional career. “If somebody wants to go elite, they have to be 100% committed and they also need an holistic support. My advice is that, we need to be aware, skilled and know at what level you are competing and to be able to perform and that all starts with building the club culture in India and we as DOS have all the facilities , increase the popularity of the game, and make the Premier League Baseball a success,” he says.