Olx India to focus on biz expansion for now; monetisation after clocking 10-fold growth

NEW DELHI, Mar 24: Online pre-owned good seller Olx, which is backed by over USD 20-billion Naspers group, will start focussing on monetising its India business after clocking a 10-fold growth, a top company official has said.

Also, the online classifieds platform aims to double its monthly active users to 10 crore from the current 5 crore.

Olx India country head Sushil Kumar said, “The focus from investor and our board is of growing India business by at least 10 times and then think about monetisation. If we can deliver value to our investor then money will come as a byproduct. Putting cap on monetisation will limit our long-term ambition.”

The company reached break-even in the financial year 2018 with profit after tax of around Rs 15 crore.

Olx is still in the investment mode and not focussing on profits, Kumar told PTI.

“At Olx, our focus is not obtaining positive cash flow or profits because that limits our ambition to grow. That has been philosophy at Olx that look at opportunity and accordingly do investment. If we find growth opportunity we will continue to invest,” he said.

The focus of the company for the next year is to double car sales business, see a tow-fold rise in monthly active users from 5 crore to 10 crore and grow jobs segment,

Kumar noted.

“Olx already has traffic. Aasaanjobs has experience to find jobs for them (blue collar workers). This is a very vertical which is being heavily promoted today. There is definitely a play in this vertical. Honestly how we are going to play in this vertical and capture it, we don’t know today,” Kumar said.

Olx acquired Aasaanjobs early this year for an disclosed amount.

Kumar said that Olx will first start to build around its strength to cater to job segment and might look at upskilling the aspirants in blue collar jobs category.

He added that the platform will continue to focus on sale of pre-owned goods and focus on doubling business in category where it starts getting traction.

“We are number one in used car sales with 80 per cent market share. We can leverage it further. Our strength is used goods, we will continue to focus on that. Roughly, 7 per cent Indians own car and around 30 per cent people own bikes. Size of bike vertical on Olx is similar to car vertical. So, we see huge opportunity in these segments which we want to explore,” Kumar said.

There is a huge ecosystem of mobile phones also developing with penetration of smartphones, the Olx country head said.

“Smartphone penetration is increasing. Average phone life has reduced from 12 month earlier to six months which means more and more smartphones are coming in to market. I don’t remember the number correctly but we are selling around 2 crore (yearly listing on Olx) used phones annually, while in market 8 crore used phones are sold annually. There is definitely an opportunity for four times growth for us,” Kumar said.

On any plans to enter the refurbished segment, Kumar said the company does not see good margin in sale of those devices. (PTI)