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Global Success With Local Stories at Netflix

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Bela Bajaria, 

Head of Global TV, Netflix
age: 50
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Netflix's foreign language shows — Squid Game, La Casa de Papel, Lupin etc. — have taken the world by storm. The force behind them all is Bela Bajaria, head of global TV at Netflix, responsible for the production of local language content in 40 countries. "The best stories in the world are authentic to their local culture and characters, yet evoke universal emotions, and that is why they are loved around the world," she says. Netflix is available in 190 countries with subtitles and dub content in more than 30 languages. In 2020, the streaming giant's revenue rose 24% to $25 billion, while profits soared 48% to $2.7 billion. The company also added 37 million subscribers last year, crossing the 200 million paid membership mark. With 65% of its 209 million subscribers outside of the U.S. and Canada, it is investing heavily in overseas markets, making Bajaria's role critical. In India, it had committed to investing '3,000 crore ($400 million) in content across 2019 and 2020, and is currently building a slate of stories in vernacular languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam. "We want to have diverse stories on Netflix, suited to different moods," says Bajaria.