In a widely reported appointment, Thakar is expected to helm OLX Autos’ offline and online operations across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the United States. Thakar (LinkedIn profile) boasts over 25 years of experience across industries, including retail, finance and media. His latest stint was at Star Sports, where he held the designation of President and CEO for three years. It was reported in October, 2020, that Thakar had stepped down from Star Sports.
Prior to Star Sports, Thakar held managerial positions at Procter&Gamble (five years) and EBay (three years). He moved to Shopping.com in 2008 as the GM and went on to become the CEO, before leaving the company in 2014. Thakar has had stints in Revolution LLC and LivingSocial.
Starting March 15, Thakar will take his position at OLX Autos, working out of India, which is one of OLX Group’s fastest-growing markets for used cars. As the Global CEO, Thakar will lead a 4,000+ workforce cut across geographical lines. “It is definitely an advantage having Gautam based in India, where he can stay close to the operations and customers in a key market, while leveraging his global CEO experience to lead our businesses across timezones both east (Indonesia) and west (Americas),” said Martin Scheepbouwer, CEO at OLX Group.
“Gautam and his team will continue to innovate the consumer experience, by combining online technologies with offline services, bringing the best of both worlds. Gautam’s overarching focus will be to build global operations at scale,” added Scheepbouwer.
Commenting on his appointment, Thakar said that he has long watched the bold and ambitious approach taken by Naspers and Prosus as they built great companies in many exciting markets, including India. “I’m delighted with the opportunity and responsibility to lead the impressive global OLX Autos team,” Thakar added.
OLX Autos has more than 500 inspection centers across the Americas, Asia and Africa. It operates under its own and other well-known leading brands, such as CarFirst, Cars45 and Webuyanycarusa. The company was recently in the news, following the launch of its operations in Indonesia through a local marketplace, Tokopedia.