Powering the future of pre-owned in India: A conversation with OLX India CEO and MD Amit Kumar

OLX India stands tall as a leader in the online classifieds market in India. I sat down with Amit Kumar, CEO and Managing Director of OLX India, to discuss the company’s strategic vision for the future, their commitment to user trust and safety, and how they are leveraging technology and partnerships to enhance the buying and selling experience for millions of Indians.

PD: How does OLX plan to leverage its strategic focus on the classified business post its acquisition by CarTrade Tech to enhance user experience?

Amit Kumar: OLX India is India’s leading classifieds platform, offering over 35 million monthly active unique (MAU) users a seamless experience of buying and selling pre-owned goods across diverse categories, including cars, bikes, real estate, smartphones, and electronics. 

With the acquisition of OLX – India operations, CarTrade Tech’s combined user base has grown exponentially to more than 70 million active users. We are unlocking significant consumer value in categories like used cars & used bikes, real estate, used smartphones, jobs, and pre-owned consumer durables through enhanced product-led solutions based on deep consumer insights (that include end-buyers and sellers, as well as dealer partners). We will leverage our resources and broader network to solidify our position as a key player in the classifieds sector. OLX is committed to serving a billion-plus Indian consumers and empowering them to get more out of life.

PD: How does OLX plan to maintain trust within its community while continuously educating users about online safety?

Amit Kumar: As a consumer-centric brand, we take trust and safety as a key priority across functions. For the safety of our consumers, we take multiple measures, such as: 

Educating our consumers through safety videos at every stage 

Proactively using rules and filters created with product interventions to ensure that fraudsters are proactively removed from the platform 

Foster trust through robust buyer & seller verification

Monitor user behaviour for real-time safety, taking proactive steps based on user feedback

Policy for inappropriate or suspicious behaviour. We leverage tools and user feedback to identify these instances and take swift action, including account suspension or bans, to ensure a safe and secure environment for all users

Collaborating with law enforcement agencies and uses data-driven insights to proactively ensure platform safety

Dedicated support helpline is available at +91 9999140999; 24X7 or consumers can email safety@olx.in

PD: Can you elaborate on the key industry partnerships OLX is forming across various categories and how these partnerships aim to enhance the platform’s user experience?

Amit Kumar: OLX aims to establish strategic partnerships to position itself as a comprehensive destination for consumer needs, improving their journey of buying and selling used goods and services. By collaborating with established players offering relevant technology-led solutions, we will offer our customers comprehensive, seamless, and user-friendly experiences.  OLX recently announced two such partnerships with leading players in the used cars and used bikes sector, one with Cars24 and the other with Royal Enfield.

Cars 24—The partnership with Cars24 harnesses the synergies between the platforms, offering potential buyers and sellers of used cars a wider assortment of used cars and value-added services. 

Royal Enfield—The collaboration with Royal Enfield facilitates seamless access for potential buyers of Royal Enfield bikes to buy certified pre-owned Royal Enfield motorcycles directly through the OLX platform.

PD: How does OLX envision the role of technology in enhancing the user experience and streamlining transactions on its platform?

Amit Kumar: OLX leverages advanced technologies like AI, data analytics, and machine learning to enhance user experience. This includes implementing advanced search algorithms, personalised recommendations, and AI-driven customer support for seamless interactions. These include:

Integrating secure payment gateways and encryption protocols for safe and streamlined transactions.

Offering multiple payment options, ensuring privacy protection, and optimising the checkout process for enhanced user convenience.

Utilising data-driven insights to optimise platform features, content, and services based on user behaviour and preferences.

Improving user engagement, retention, and conversion rates through data-driven strategies and continuous optimisation efforts.

PD: What factors drive the buying and selling of pre-owned goods behaviour in India? Is there a set pattern or trend?

Amit Kumar: Consumers are increasingly buying and selling pre-owned goods.  Some of the factors that are driving this behaviour include affordability, smartphone usage, increase in disposable income, internet penetration, etc. 

Pre-owned goods are often affordable, and consumers are able to buy their preferred products without any budgetary constraints, turning aspirations into reality.

Pre-owned goods address environmental concerns, and reusing goods reduces waste – another shift in consumer behaviour driving them towards pre-owned goods. Overall, the pre-owned goods market in India reflects a shift towards more mindful consumption habits.

PD: Can you share any insights into OLX’s long-term vision and strategic goals for the future, particularly in light of the recent acquisition and partnerships?

Our long-term vision is to strengthen our platform’s capabilities to maintain our leadership in online classifieds. This involves enhancing categories, improving trust & safety measures, and implementing advanced tech and product interventions. By deepening our focus on key categories, we aim to create more use cases, thereby reinforcing our market leadership. Additionally, forging new partnerships across categories will expand our reach and relevance in the market.

Also, preserving consumer trust is paramount, which is why we are intensifying our fraud detection capabilities. Our goal is to ensure that our online platform remains a trustworthy and safe place for sellers & buyers to transact securely. 

We also believe constant investment in product innovations is crucial, with a focus on improving the user experience for both buyers and sellers. This commitment extends to maintaining customer trust and safety at every point of interaction on our platform. Last but not least, we will expand our footprint in our priority markets to meet consumer needs.

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