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The 4 Things That Actually Matter for Your Career (And the World)

Pilar Do Campo Garino
Data & Strategy Manager

“ I am part of a 170+ member cooperative in Lisbon. Our first project is a community-run grocery store, where we offer local, healthy, sustainable, and ethical products at reasonable prices for consumers, and fair prices for producers. Every member is an owner, and as such, we all do our part to keep it running — I do a shift there every month, as does every other member. It’s a great place to meet like-minded people, and dedicate some of my time to a cause I deeply care about.”

Back at OLX Group, where Pilar works as Strategy Lead at OLX Motors, she’s doing a lot to promote sustainability too, helping consumers unlock the second life of things. With the help of talents like Pilar, OLX Group has become operationally carbon neutral. Forbes also ranked OLX Group third in their list of companies with the greatest digital footprint.

With 322 million monthly active users, these are exciting times to work at OLX. Pilar has had quite a career with OLX Group. So, we sat down for a talk with her about her time here. We learned a lot about her role, the problems she’s solving, and what it takes to carve out the career you want.

Read on!


1. Build the roads that feel right — from Uruguay to Argentina to Portugal…

Born in Uruguay, Pilar’s journey with OLX began in Argentina. Now, she’s working in Lisbon, Portugal. Throughout her professional career, Pilar has focused on taking the opportunities that feel right, whether that be in Uruguay, Argentina, or Portugal.

“What’s interesting is that I’ve been with OLX this whole time, moving from role to role. The internal mobility encouraged at OLX has helped me shape a great career. There are a lot of companies within OLX. There’s so much to do, with so many different markets, products, and positions. It’s very easy to find something new and exciting if you outgrow your current position.”


OLX supports employees who want to try different roles and actually facilitates internal mobility well. When I was pursuing my move from Argentina to Europe, my manager at OLX Group Argentina put me in touch with people in the European offices and really supported my move. I think that’s super valuable. You have the freedom to shape your career!

Like Pilar has done, you have to be active with your career moves. By building your own roads, you can achieve professional fulfillment.

Tell us about your journey to OLX?

“I was at the beginning of my professional career. I finished my Bachelor’s in Economics, and then I did my Master’s in Applied Economics. When I was finishing my master’s degree, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, maybe a PhD or go into research,” details Pilar.

“Then OLX Group called me. I was in Argentina at the time. Of course, I knew the company and had interacted with the product. They were looking for people and wanted me to come for an interview. Oddly enough, it was a position in online marketing. I thought the company looked amazing. Everyone was smart and super interested in what they did. I decided to give it a try, and accepted the offer. I stayed in that position for about a year, but towards the end, I wasn’t really satisfied anymore. It was fun in the beginning because it was new but it was still a marketing position and I began to realize it wasn’t my thing.

Seeing I wasn’t super motivated, my manager gave me an assignment related to analytics. He said, ‘Wow! You’re good at this.’

So, OLX helped me move to the analytics side, seeing it was a better fit for me. It was for monetization. We had just started monetizing in Latam, so they needed more people doing pricing, designing the product offering, budgeting, and the sort. And that’s how I started my career in Data and Analytics.”

What was the specific monetization project?


“We were transitioning from a free model into a freemium model. We were just starting to introduce paid products in the form of value-added services for sellers, such as listing insertions and exposure products. Some time after that, we started launching more things, like bundles and a virtual wallet. Many of these products I helped design and optimize. It was super exciting and there was so much to do. In the beginning, I was mainly looking after monetization for Uruguay and Argentina. But after a few months, I was offered a position as regional coordinator for Latam — I was leading initiatives across 9 different countries, coordinating local teams and product teams.

It was a huge learning opportunity for me. I learned the particular context of each country, and tailored each market’s strategy to its reality. It was like a playground for us! We could test different prices and products in each market, substantially accelerating our learning.”

After that, you went into real estate within OLX Group Europe. What motivated that move?

“Well, I knew I wanted to stay with OLX Group. So I started looking. In the beginning, I wanted to go to Berlin but there weren’t any relevant positions. Then someone said there were openings in Portugal that suited my profile.

I had never been to Portugal and knew very little about the country. Some colleagues in Argentina were working a lot with the Portuguese team. They raved about the culture, weather, and people here. That, along with a super interesting job opportunity, was enough to convince me to say yes to this new challenge.”

So, I got an offer with OLX real estate in Lisbon. Since then, I’ve moved to my position now, as Strategy Lead for OLX Motors Europe.”

Side NotePilar’s career journey shows the diversity of opportunities available with OLX Group. We operate in 30+ countries and have 20+ brands. From classifieds and job search platforms to real estate and auto marketplaces, you can shape the career you want here. You can find a job opening with us that suits you, even if you have interest and passion for a wide range of roles and industries.


2. Let data help you cross oceans

Pilar has taken on new roles within OLX several times. Each move, she experiences stress, so she’s had to remind herself that all will work out well.

“I wish I could tell my younger self to not stress so much. Don’t take things so seriously. I usually go with the flow, but making the decision to change teams — or countries — has always been stressful for me. I’ve learned to remain calm and rely on my skills and experience. I’ve also learned to adopt a growth mindset, and to be honest, that has made all the difference. It will turn out good,” attests Pilar.

Pilar takes a similar approach to solving day-to-day problems. She takes advantage of tools to help solve those problems, like data.

What was the main focus while working as a Senior Business & Monetization Analyst in Real Estate?

“When I got to my real estate position in Lisbon, it was a small team, just a few people,” describes Pilar.

“There was so much to do. There was a new, very aggressive competitor in the market that was challenging our leading position. This was a business that was run more traditionally. There was a lot of sales and marketing focus, but not a lot of focus on the data. I saw this was the gap for me to fill — looking at the market and analyzing the data. I tried to understand where we were winning and losing. It quickly became evident that we had a growing gap in inventory that we needed to address urgently. I helped the team understand where those gaps were coming from — for example, the competitor was winning in the luxury segment, and also in the South region of Portugal. So it became evident that our sales team had to go hunting for that content. I also did a lot of work around pricing and product offerings. We revamped the offering in just a few months, going from an outdated model to something much more consistent with our clients’ wants and needs. This allowed us to increase customer satisfaction, while at the same time growing our revenue and inventory.”

This was back in 2017–2018, when maybe data and AI were still becoming mainstream. How do you change the minds of other colleagues and get them to work with the data?


“I think data is very powerful. But obviously, it depends how you show it, explain it, and weave it into a story. You need to build trust with your audience. You do this by taking the time to understand the market, all sides of it. You do it by knowing your data, its quality, and limitations. A hypothesis-driven approach, and showing the “why” behind the “what” also help with establishing trust.

I also always look for customer feedback, whether it be from sales or customer care teams or research. And that’s also something that helps build trust: people see you’re trying to get a 360 view of the problem, instead of just the somewhat biased view you can get if you only look at hard numbers. Understanding the context is critical — and that’s something you usually don’t find in the data.

Extra notePilar makes a powerful point about storytelling. Data is more than numbers. We should learn how it fits into the story of the company. That’s how we use data effectively. David Cancel, CEO of Drift, has similar ideas and that’s why he trains his team on storytelling.

Where did you go after real estate?

“I was in real estate for two years, fully focused on the Portuguese market. After some time I started getting hungry for a new challenge. So, I looked inside the company for other opportunities and I saw someone who I really looked up to was hiring for his team. I applied for this position, and went through the interview process. A couple of months later I was working as Senior Pricing Analyst for this new, global team, where I had the opportunity to work with many different markets and products, and deepen my knowledge of pricing strategies. Following some organizational changes I ended up in the European Motors business unit, where I am now, working as Strategy Lead.”


3. Transparency is gold for solving customer problems

Car buying is a stressful experience. But Pilar and the rest of OLX Group are working on solutions.

Jasjit, our Associate Director of Product, Dealer Experience at OLX Autos, attests that buyers and sellers need a way to trust each other when dealing online. “We need to make the experience like having a cup of tea,” he says.

Martin, Director of Product Management at OLX Motors, notes the hassle of going to dealerships and not having certainty about the price or condition of the vehicle. “We have to find the pain points and offer straightforward solutions,” he says.

Pilar has similar thoughts. “Anyone who has tried to buy or sell a used car knows it’s a stressful experience,” she exclaims.

“It’s very difficult to know who and what you can trust. This is where different market contexts and situations and regulations come into play and dictate very big differences between markets.”

Here’s how Pilar and the team are solving this problem.

Tell us more about your current role:

“I’m the Strategy Lead for Motors vertical at OLX Europe.Our teams create Europe’s leading destinations for buying and selling new and second-hand cars, car parts, motorcycles, and much more (You might know Otomoto, Standvirtual or Autovit). As a Strategy team we’re not really in the day-to-day operations of the business, and so we’re looking at a much longer time horizon. We’re typically thinking in terms of years, not months. We take big, complex, strategic issues, and try to find long-term solutions.”

What’s the biggest challenge you’re trying to solve?


“Our focus is on increasing trust and transparency in our markets, particularly in the used cars segment. Typically what happens is that the seller knows a lot about the car, but the buyer knows very little. This information exists to some extent in each market, but is usually not easily available to buyers. So buyers end up having to make big purchasing decisions without enough information, without knowing for sure the true history and condition of the car, if it was ever in an accident, or if it will need expensive repairs soon. This is precisely what we’re aiming to solve,” details Pilar.

“What we’re doing around transparency is trying to reduce the stress and reduce the information asymmetry in second-hand car transactions. Let’s say I’m buying a car. Chances are I know nothing about the car but the seller knows a lot about it. That is information asymmetry. This creates different market behavior and dynamics, and it can become so stressful that people pull out of transactions. Instead of getting a new car every five years, they change them every eight years.”

How do these problems impact the market as a whole?


“There’s a lot of impact on many levels. It impacts buyers, who risk unknowingly buying a low-quality car for a high price. It impacts sellers, who cannot guarantee they will get a fair price due to these market conditions. It impacts all consumers in general, due to the deteriorating quality of cars on the road. And this in turn impacts every other player in the market — from insurance to financing to workshops and more.

Our platform is very popular and connects buyers and sellers. At OLX Group, we’re a big player in this market and we have the mission to improve this market for the better. To succeed, you have to solve real problems, and that’s what we focus on every day.”

Extra noteSerge, a Data Science Manager at OLX Motors, has helped us create a Price Fairness tool. A part of our transparency initiative, the evaluator tool examines whether used car prices are fair and flags the buyer when it isn’t.


4. Learn and break through boundaries

Pilar recently read the Culture Map, a book about navigating cultural differences in the workplace and life. At OLX, where we have team members from 81 nationalities, Pilar finds the lessons from the book useful.

“It’s a fun and amazing environment at OLX Group,” says Pilar.

“I’ve learned about my teammates’ cultures and backgrounds, and I’ve learned to work together with anyone effectively.”

What’s been key to working in a diverse, multinational environment?

“When I moved to Portugal, and began working with people from so many different nationalities, I realised it was a big move. Portuguese culture is close to my own, so it was fairly easy to adapt to it. But Portuguese is just one of the many nationalities I work with. I’ve spent time learning about the different cultures and languages, and generally just being curious about people, their traditions, their ways of living and seeing the world, ” states Pilar.

What’s something you saw, heard, and read recently? How will this be key to your success going forward with OLX ?


“As I mentioned, I just finished reading the Culture Map by Erin Meyer. It’s perfect for a company like OLX to review on a team level. It has helped me understand the underlying differences in culture and behavior, and has given me tools to become more effective in such a multicultural environment. I’ve been also listening to an inspiring Masterclass on Economics and Society with Paul Krugman, ” affirms Pilar.

“I’ve seen so many great things while traveling. With COVID, travel has been difficult, so I’ve been mainly targeting nature destinations. I got the chance to rediscover Portugal, from star watching in Alentejo, to the raw and wild nature in the Azores islands. In the Swiss mountains, I was blown away by the breathtaking scenery — I consider myself to be a city person, but this experience made me question that definition. This summer I also had the chance to explore Galicia by van. This was a uniquely special experience for me, not only because of how beautiful it is, but also because this is my heritage, where part of my family comes from.”

You can shape your dream career

That concludes our talk with Pilar. We hope you take her lessons to heart and use the wisdom to forge a career that gives you fulfillment. Just remember: Follow the path that feels right, make use of your tools, be transparent, and keep on learning.

Here’s to your success on the road ahead!