Amarjit Singh Batra Plans to Move to a Global Role Within Naspers
Batra plans to move on after an immensely successful stint at OLX India, which saw the brand rise from anonymity to an undisputed market leader
Photo Credit : Tarun Gupta,
OLX India announced today that Amarjit Singh Batra, the CEO and founder of the OLX India business, is planning to move within Naspers for his next adventure. Amar joined OLX in 2008, and has been instrumental in building OLX India as the undisputed market leader as well as a household name.
Batra joined OLX at a time when consumer Internet businesses in India were at a nascent stage, and the concept of second-hand buying and selling between individuals was almost unknown. Starting out as the first employee of OLX India, he has built the business from scratch to a 550-strong-team today.
Batra not only pioneered the consumer-to-consumer (C2C) classifieds business in India but also led OLX to become the largest classifieds platform in the country commanding 80% market-share of the C2C classifieds business, and a brand-awareness that has now been consistently seven times or more than that of the closest competitor. Apart from introducing India to selling and buying of pre-owned household items, Batra also led OLX to emerge as the biggest platform for pre-owned cars in the country commanding 72% market-share of the pre-owned car trade. Other key categories that thrived under his leadership were that of pre-owned motorcycles, where OLX has 75% market-share of the online trade, and mobile phones, where OLX commands 50% market share. Real Estate and Jobs are also categories that he built from a horizontal perspective, giving OLX an underlying advantage in the space.
At OLX he is known for his innovative approach, implicit understanding of the consumer needs, and a passion for building business solutions that can solve everyday challenges and make the user experience more friction-free. A visionary, he built OLX with a mobile-first approach at a time when many other businesses were still focused on desktop. This helped in laying strong foundations for business growth at an early stage. He was also the first in his space to take the decision of experimenting with customized colloquial regional-language television advertising - rather than using dubbed Ads for all markets - in order to reach out to a new consumer base. These are just a few examples of how he thought and led.
It was under his leadership that OLX India introduced an improved version of the OLX App last year that made buying and selling more simple, secure, and social. The new App that leveraged artificial intelligence and machine learning has resulted in the strongest year yet for OLX. In the last 10 months, Unique Sellers have grown by more than 70%, Buyers by 200%, and Daily Active Users (DAU) by 100% with a 50% growth in stickiness and engagement.
Under Batra’s leadership, OLX has outdistanced the No. 2 player in the space by a wide margin. OLX now has almost 14 times the DAUs on the App that the No. 2 player does (Source: Similar Web), 7 times the brand awareness they do (Source: Google Trends) and 9 times the Unique Listers they do in the Goods and Cars Categories.
Said Martin Scheepbouwer, Global CEO of OLX Group, “I started working with Amar five years back when I joined Naspers, and he has impressed me with his entrepreneurial drive, passion, focus and his ability to deliver on big challenges. India is a huge and diverse market, and the way OLX India has shaped up to become an undisputable leader in the horizontal classifieds space is a testimony to Amar’s vision, strategy, and execution. What I am most pleased with is the strong leadership team and culture that Amar has built at OLX India, which has laid a solid foundation for taking the company to the next level. I take this opportunity to thank him for the great work and support him on his plans to take up a new challenge. While he will move on, his legacy will live on in the brand, team, and the culture he has built.”
Said Amarjit Singh Batra CEO, OLX India, “The OLX journey has been a very special and fulfilling one. Rarely does one get an opportunity as an entrepreneur and a leader to build a brand like OLX and take it from obscurity to a household name. In the almost nine years that I have spent at OLX, I feel I have done the whole nine yards. In these years OLX has emerged as the number one horizontal marketplace outperforming all direct competitors. On the back of a robust and innovative product, we have delivered our strongest year yet. I started out alone in India for almost 3 years but today I have a team of great leaders who are poised to take the business to even greater heights. I have also spent a lot of time in building a culture that not only keeps the brand mission alive but also makes OLX a great place to work. I feel like I have achieved the mission I took up nine years back, and that the time is opportune to end this leg of the journey and take up a new challenge. Naspers has a wide footprint and several exciting opportunities in emerging markets that I am exploring at the moment.”
“The person who will be coming in place of Amar has some big shoes to fill. We are working on the transition, and will be ready to share the successor’s name soon,” added Scheepbouwer.
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