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The Storyteller At Netflix

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Bela Bajaria, 

Chief Content Officer
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Netflix’s Bela Bajaria wields more power than any other entertainment executive on what millions of people around the world watch every night. After all, she oversees creative teams in over 20 countries as the chief content officer for Netflix, a position she was elevated to earlier this year replacing co-CEO Ted Sarandos. “My role is to empower them (teams) to champion exceptional local storytellers and discover compelling stories from around the world,” says Bajaria.
And it is something Bajaria specialises in, considering she led the creation of major foreign-language hits such as Squid Game and La Casa de Papel in her earlier role as head of global TV. She also oversaw local language Original series across Europe, West Asia, Turkey, Africa, India, Asia, and Latin America, and managed teams behind shows such as Elite (Spain), The Witcher (Poland), Dark Desire (Mexico), Sacred Games (India), and Kingdom (Korea).
Local languages and the comparatively untapped Latin American and Asian markets, including India, are crucial for Netflix’s growth. Netflix India has had its best year ever in the country in 2022, with strong growth across engagement, revenue and subscribers, says Bajaria. The company launched more than 28 local Originals last year, including Darlings and Monica, O My Darling, to Khakee: The Bihar Chapter.
In the last one year, Netflix has released some of its most popular films and series ever, including Wednesday, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, All Quiet On The Western Front, and The Night Agent. “This year, we celebrated All Quiet On The Western Front as it became the most-awarded Netflix film in Oscar history. Another special moment was seeing our documentary, The Elephant Whisperers, create history by becoming the first-ever Indian production to win an Oscar,” she says. Netflix reported a 2.7% YoY rise in revenue to $8.2 billion in Q2. In May this year, it launched paid sharing in over 100 countries.