Exclusive: With homegrown Indian competitions garnering attention, the future for inbound sports tourism continues to look bright – Monish Shah, Founder & Chief Business Officer, DreamSetGo

Mr Monish elaborated on the inbound and outbound tourism, future plans, target audience and the esteemed collaboration with the legendary Sourav Ganguly.

With sports tourism being at a nascent stage of development in India, DreamSetGo has been able to be at the centre of it. The impetus of travelling to places for sports games has been one of the ravishing experiences, especially post-pandemic.

DreamSetGo within four years of its inception has become a colossal entity in sports tourism with proficiency in providing luxurious and money can’t buy experience. With an enchanting portfolio of partnerships – ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, Mumbai City FC, Manchester United, and Paris 2024 – the Mumbai-based company has assisted a massive amount of the population in commuting in India and abroad for catching live sports action.

In an exclusive interaction with SportsMint Media, Mr Monish Shah, Founder & Chief Business Officer, DreamSetGo, elaborated on the inbound and outbound tourism, future plans, target audience and the esteemed collaboration with the legendary Sourav Ganguly.

1. Could you please tell us about DreamSetGo’s business model?

As a part of the Dream Sports ecosystem, we aim to ‘Make Sports Better’ by integrating sports experiences across touchpoints. DreamSetGo thrives on creating memorable once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Our aim is to deliver ‘money can’t buy’ moments to Indian sports fans, beyond just the ‘viewing experience’. We at DreamSetGo are experts in curating the most epic & bespoke sports travel packages that include Matchday hospitality, VIP Seats, Legend Meet & Greet, First Team Experiences, Private Charters, Elite Accommodation, Visa Services & Exclusive destination experiences.

Our wide range of offerings, catering to the needs of India’s aspirational sports travellers makes us unique. We cater to the likes of individual travellers or F.I.T., incentive travel packages for corporates, and the MISE segment (Meetings, Incentives, Sports & Experiences), curating exclusive propositions for HNIs/UNHIs.

2. Please provide in-depth knowledge of the exclusive experience delivered by DreamSetGo to sports enthusiasts.

Over the past 12 months, 5000 sports fans have travelled with DreamSetGo to watch various sporting events, such as the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Australia 2022, and Motorsports & Tennis Grand Slams, among others. People have opted for various services, from reliable match tickets and hospitality to unique experiences like meet-and-greets with legendary players, pitch access, memorabilia, and sightseeing opportunities.

DreamSetGo covers the entire breadth of a fan journey from interest to experience. With partnerships across a variety of sports, we are currently partners with Manchester United, On Location, ICC Travel & Tours, and Rugby World Cup 2023. In 2022, we facilitated 15–20% of the Indian cricket fans that visited Australia for the T20 World Cup. Some of the exclusive experiences we’ve organised include High Tea with Sourav Ganguly at the Lord’s Stadium, private wine-tasting lunches at Yarra Valley private yacht dinners with Brett Lee, and a DreamSetGo Diwali party with Venkatesh Prasad, Aamir Sohail, Mike Hussey & Gautam Bhimani during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Australia 2022. Our ability to innovate based on consumer sentiment gives us an edge over others.

3. How significant will be the growth of the sports tourism industry in India due to the ever-increasing homegrown sports competitions?

India’s appetite for global sports has increased over the past couple of years, riding on the back of increased spending capacity and the emergence of a connected world. At DreamSetGo, we believe that there is a total addressable market of 1 billion sports fans in India’. For instance, Indians formed the majority of the audience at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Australia 2022 with nearly 20,000 fans. Only the host nation contributed more.

As we strive to become the most trusted name in the outbound sports tourism industry, we are confident the scale of our offerings and our ability to curate innovative and unique sports experiences will set us apart. Our partnership gives us an edge over other players.

Within India, with tournaments like the IPL, ISL, WPL & PKL garnering increasing attention, the future for inbound sports tourism continues to look bright and also sheds light on the fan potential available in the market for multi-discipline sports apart from cricket.

4. With ‘Make Sports Better’ being DreamSetGo’s motto; what could be done to enhance in-stadium sports viewing in India?

India has always been a sporting nation. However, it’s only recently that the world acknowledges the country’s potential to drive the global sports tourism sector. In terms of international visitor arrivals to India in 2019, India was placed 34th globally, with sports tourism being identified as a potential growth sector for the industry. I truly believe that with higher collaboration between private sports companies and the government, we can definitely rise up the ranks swiftly. After all, the sports tourism market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14% between 2018 and 2023.

Overall having a long-term strategy that involves infrastructure development, marketing, and skill development will boost this sub-sector. By tapping into its rich sports culture, India can gradually position itself as a premier sports tourism destination.

5. How different is the process of handling inbounding and outbounding sports fans?

For outbound travellers, we provide end-to-end services, right from facilitating smooth entry into the destination country to offering unique once-in-a-lifetime sports experiences. This includes assisting with supporting documents to procure visas, best matchday experiences, local sightseeing, luxury accommodation, local transfers and layered experiential offerings like spa retreat/yoga etc. Everything is taken care of by DreamSetGo. For inbound travellers, we mainly focus on providing the best experiences based on our sports partnerships across disciplines.

While there are key differences in both, as an entity focused on providing luxury sports experience and becoming a one-stop solution for travellers, our length and breadth of operation ensures that we are able to cater to a wide range of activities irrespective of inbound or outbound audiences.

6. Could you please tell us about DreamSetGo’s target audience categories?

Our aim is to bridge the accessibility gap between Indian sports fans and a multitude of sporting disciplines. We identify and target four key verticals, namely, Corporates, CXOs, high net worth individuals (HNIs), and individual travellers or FITs.

We are a company that prides itself on delivering money-can’t-buy experiences to the top 10-15 percentile of travellers or HNIs. To do so, we have forged key alliances with some of the most sought-after HNI brands, which helps us connect with the right audiences, as well as, partner with HNI networks within the country. This helps us build relationships with key clientele who chase money-can’t-buy experiences with us.

With a strong focus on building a holistic experience from interest to experience, our teams across sales, travel, experiences and partnerships play a key role in not only making sure we have access to the best properties for our audiences but also making sure that our clients have world-class on-ground experience. Apart from the ones mentioned above, another key area of focus has been a move away from traditional MICE to an approach of ‘MISE’ – Meetings, Incentives, Sports and Experiences.

7. Is DreamSetGo aiming to partner up with IPL or WPL shortly?

We are always open to collaborating and curating offerings for India’s premium sporting events. Recently, we partnered with Gujarat Titans to create VIP Box Experiences at the Narendra Modi Stadium which did really well. We’re working towards a lot of interesting partnerships that will go live in the upcoming months.

8. Could you please tell us more about DreamSetGo’s collaboration with Sourav Ganguly? And is there a current player, the company, is planning to team up with?

Sourav’s unparalleled love and contribution to sports makes him the ideal candidate to help us reach fans across the country, and promote our ability to create unique and memorable experiences. He joined the DreamSetGo team in 2022 as a.k.a. ‘Super Captain’ as he fondly goes by at DreamSetGo and will continue as the face of our brand.

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