Netflix has tapped its current vice president of content Indian American Bela Bajaria to lead the streaming platform’s international non-English TV originals.
She will lead international non-English TV originals — scripted, unscripted, comedy — in all international markets where Netflix is available, excluding Asia but including India where Bajaria’s family is from.
Bajaria, who has been with the company since 2016, said that it has an “amazing opportunity to bring stories from different cultures and in different languages to audiences all around the world. Netflix is just scratching the surface on what’s possible and I could not be more excited to get started.”
The move comes as Netflix is plunging more dollars into content abroad, eyeing paid subscriber growth internationally. Eighty percent of its net added subscribers over the last few quarters were international, said the company.
“Bela Bajaria is an incredible creative talent — bringing global hits like ‘You,’ ‘Nailed It’ and ‘Queer Eye’ to Netflix,” said Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a statement. “She is the perfect person to build on our international efforts, helping to bring the world’s stories to the world whatever the language.”
International content has been key to streaming platforms’ growth and has emerged as the new battleground, with Netflix and Amazon often engaging in bidding wars over locally produced content, especially in burgeoning markets like India. With 80% of Netflix’s new subscriber signups coming from foreign territories in the last few quarters, the Internet network has significantly increased its investment in non-English TV originals.
Before joining Netflix, Bajaria served as president of Universal Television where she oversaw the development and production of such series as Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Master of None.
Before deciding to work in television, Bajaria was active in the Indian American pageant circuit, winning three titles including Miss LA India, Miss India USA and Miss India Worldwide in 1991. She was also involved with the nonprofit world.