Interview with Fabrice Grinda -Co CEO – Olx Inc

I had written an article on online classifieds and the industry in general , about a week or so ago and was delighted to note that one of the visitors who had left some feedback was Fabrice Grinda , the Co CEO of Olx Inc, one of the largest classifieds site network in existence today.

Fabrice was kind enough to accept a request for a brief email interview which is published below.

What according to you is classifieds?

Classifieds are a form of (usually text based) advertising that allows individuals and companies to solicit sales for products and services. They appear online and offline and can be free or paid for. Traditionally they have been print ads in newspapers, but are now moving online to specialized sites like Monster or general sites like OLX

Reasons which prompted you to set up a classifieds site?

I left my previous company, Zingy (www.zingy.com) in November 2005. As I started looking for business ideas, I notice the tremendous value that Craigslist was bringing to consumers in the US market. It was bringing classifieds to the masses by allowing everyone to find roommates, baby sitters, couches, etc. for free. I also noticed that outside of the US the classifieds markets were still dominated by the newspapers who charged an arm and a leg to post.

It struck me that there was a tremendous opportunity to bring free classifieds to the rest of the world and thus provide a great public service to local communities. We took the basic concept from Craigslist – simple, local, free – and improved upon it and localized it for each country.

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Exchange4Media – A website or….

Been to exchange4media.com lately? The once pivotal pillar of media websites and information dissemination on the Internet , and now closer in appearance to what the regurgitated slop of the Indian advertising world would possibly like..

The buzz word in the market is Usability, visitor and traffic experience. Simply having content simply does not cut it, the presented format holds an equal weight in the initiatives which would go towards a satisfactory customer experience. One would assume that a site so closely associate with the industry would be , if not in the front, then definitely as a front runner in establishing new standards within our fraternity.

Here’s a screenshot of their homepage. Yes People..it is, believe it or not, a homepage and not a parking page , or a “Find the content and win prizes” game. All the circles in red and black are advertisements…i.e 11 ad’s in just the first scroll.

e4mhp.jpg

Here’s a screengrab of one of their story pages. I have made 2 red lines indicating where the content is so that you guys dont have to go through the multiple zooming ranges i had to go through to find it.

e4mstory.jpg

I am totally for agency faqs as of this point, although it appears that they have started filling up their page as well, but the overall “noise” of the site is far far less, which in turn might be indicative of reasons as to why agencyfaqs is a more visited site than E4m but no need to take my word for it… feel free to go to E4M…just have a good book handy while its loading!