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Exclusive: OLX India lays off 250 employees as it shifts focus to a few verticals

Online consumer to consumer marketplace OLX India has let go off 250 of its employees as it looks to primarily focus on two of its verticals as part of a larger strategy change within the organization, according to three people familiar with the development. 

The people cited above also said that the Prosus-owned company may pull the plug from its real estate and used goods verticals. 

“OLX may shut down the aforementioned verticals and focus only on its two transaction businesses — Cash my Car and Aasaanjobs,” said one of the people cited above on condition of anonymity. “OLX’s decision is not due to Covid but is part of a larger change in global strategy.” 

OLX confirmed the layoff news to Entrackr. “As we continue to evolve to meet the market expectations and the needs of our customers, we’re shifting our strategy and focusing on key segments where we can offer more services and convenience,” said an OLX spokesperson. “By refocusing our strategy, we have decided to make a few internal alignments that will impact around 250 of our colleagues in sales and support teams.”

OLX, however, denies any such development of shutting down these verticals. “The real estate and used goods verticals will continue to function,” added the spokesperson. 

OLX hadn’t been focusing on real-estate and used goods verticals since the beginning of this year, say sources. “The company has primarily been ramping up its used cars vertical and the blue-collared jobs one since late 2019,” said the second source, requesting anonymity. 

The company had acquired a recruitment marketplace for blue and grey-collar jobs Aasaanjobs in January 2019. 

Cash My Car, on the other hand, was launched in August 2018 as an omnichannel platform to sell cars. OLX had also launched a franchise model offline setup where the individual owners can sell their cars. The company has several dozen offline stores across 14 cities in India.

Globally, OLX has been trying to hedge itself from Facebook whose marketplace product has significantly dented its market share across multiple geographies including Indonesia and the USA. Except for Europe and Russia where it owns Avito, OLX has struggled to take a pole position elsewhere.

Over the last two years, it has exited multiple geographies by selling or merging the local business units with dominant players. OLX merged its Middle East business with Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG) in April 2020 while its US business Letgo became part of OfferUP around the same time. The firm also sold its Southeast Asia business to Carousel.

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