Amarjit Batra, OLX: “Classified ads now come with user-generated comments, thanks to digital convergence.”

15th Jul 2011
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We at YourStory recently caught up with Amarjit Batra, Country Manager, OLX India to speak about the effects of digital convergence on a classifieds platform like OLX. OLX is a free classifieds site for people to buy, sell, exchange, or trade product and services. Being used in 96 countries and 40 languages, the platform sees more than 150 million unique visitors every month. OLX in India is available across 1000+ cities. People can also access OLX through their free apps for iPhone and Android phones, allowing users to place ads quickly, on the go.

Amarjit is also going to be speaking at the India Digital Forum, scheduled to be held on the 29th of July 2011 at New Delhi. In this chat with YourStory, Amarjit talks about changing consumption patterns and how the business of matching buyers with sellers has changed.

What does digital convergence mean for a classifieds platform like OLX?

Classifieds platforms like OLX are products of the emergence of the digital revolution and the changing consumption patterns of users. In the West, consumers have migrated to online classifieds from print classifieds because it’s free, more efficient, simple to use and you can do much more with an online classifieds ad.

Digital convergence for OLX means that our users are now moving beyond web usage and looking to post and search classifieds ads through their mobile devices (smartphones, tablets etc.).

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They are also sharing their ads within their social network and getting to know what their friends are selling. So, this has led to the mixing of their classifieds ad content with user-generated comments on the site, where people can share their suggestions, ask questions, recommend the ad etc. They are no longer searching only for text and it has moved to images and videos. User are fast realizing that there are communities out there that have similar needs and that OLX is a great platform to connect and trade with these like-minded people.

Digital convergence brings disruption by changing the pattern of consumption of media and technology and we at OLX believe that we are witnessing the creation of a new market that everybody can afford and that everyone has access to.

What are your expectations from the India Digital Forum? How do you intend to harness the event?

I expect to meet thought leaders and professionals in the digital space and know about the exciting work that they are doing in their respective businesses. I also see this as an opportunity to meet folks who have similar challenges and learn from them as to how they are addressing these challenges in the constantly-evolving digital landscape. I feel that India Digital Forum is a great networking opportunity for anybody who is or wants to be connected to digital and everybody will have something new to learn or somebody useful to connect to.

What are the themes/topics that do you intend to cover in your talk at the India Digital Forum?

I will be sharing my thoughts on how the digital landscape is evolving in India and the opportunities and challenges for both entrepreneurs in digital domain and the service providers to them. I would look at adding the flavours of social commerce, local and mobile to the e-commerce (and classifieds) business.

To know more about OLX, check out www.olx.in. Also, do share with us your view on this story by writing to us at feedback@yourstory.in.

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