Bela Bajaria, a former CBS veteran, is one of the highest-ranking Indian American entertainment industry executives.
Bela Bajaria serves as a vice president of Global TV at Netflix. Born in London, Bajaria moved to the United States when she was nine after spending part of her childhood in Zambia. She joined the global streaming giant in November 2016, as a vice president for content acquisition.
In that position, Bajaria also oversaw Netflix’s original content for India, Asia, the Middle East, Turkey, Africa, and Latin America.
Prior to joining Netflix, Bela Bajaria worked as the president of Universal Television for nearly five years. She was behind such successful shows like “Chicago Fire” and Mindy Kaling’s “The Mindy Project,” the first major show from a South Asian American female creator.
Before that she was senior vice president at CBS, where she worked for 15 years.
In a 2019 interview with Fortune, Bajaria talked about her experience overseeing international original content. The Indian American executive said when she went to Hollywood in the mid-1990s, “there was no Indian people and there was very few brown people anywhere” and she had “a frame of reference and a perspective which was sort of different.”
Being a person with an Indian heritage, who “grew up in America for the most part,” she always had to “blend both of those things,” she said.
“[When] I was at Netflix and they asked me to take on international… which some people think like it’s a CIA show that we shoot in a bunch of different countries and that feels international, that is not what it means. It actually means we go into countries and we make non-English local originals, with local filmmakers in all of these countries. That’s what it means … going into a country finding an authentic local story and telling that.”
Read more on Bela Bajaria:
Netflix elevates Indian American Bela Bajaria as VP Global TV (September 10, 2020)