Thakar, who will take up the role starting March 15, will manage the global operations of OLX Autos based out of India, one among the fastest-growing large used car markets in the world, and will lead a workforce of over 4,000 employees across various geographies.
“It is definitely an advantage having Gautam based in India where he can stay close to the operations and customers in such a key market, while leveraging his global CEO experience to lead our businesses in timezones both east (Indonesia) and west (Americas),” said Martin Scheepbouwer, CEO at OLX Group.
Prior to his stint at Start Sports, Thakar had over a decade of experience managing e-commerce businesses. He was country manager of eBay India in 2005, before taking up international roles as the CEO of eBay’s Shopping.com followed by a stint as vice-president and general manager of eBay Advertising.
He also served as the president and CEO of LivingSocial which was acquired by Groupon. Even before his stint at eBay, Thakar was part of the founding management team at
baazee.com, one of the pioneers of e-commerce in India.
“I am delighted with the opportunity and responsibility to lead the impressive global OLX Autos team. I’ve long watched the bold and ambitious approach taken by Naspers and Prosus as they’ve built great companies in so many exciting markets, including India,” Thakar said.
OLX Autos has over 500 offline inspection centres that inspect 300,000 vehicles and enable 130,000 transactions a year, apart from the online marketplace it runs. During the past year, the company said the impact of Covid-19 has been different in different markets depending on government restrictions and local conditions.
While OLX Autos had to close its offline inspection centres in many markets during the lockdowns, it said that it saw overall consumer interest going up, with people coming online to find new ways to buy and sell what they need.
“Gautam and his team will continue to innovate the consumer experience by combining online technologies with offline services – the best of both worlds. Gautam’s overarching focus will be to build global operations at scale,” added Scheepbouwer.