Netflix Chief Content Officer Bela Bajaria and actor, writer and producer Mindy Kaling have been named to The Hollywood Reporter’s ‘2023 Women in Entertainment Power 100’ list for ‘setting box office records, filling arenas and putting Hollywood back to work’.
The two Indian-Americans, along with several other women executives, performers and powerhouses from the industry were honoured on Thursday as “women who over-delivered in 2023, setting the standard for success in the shifting cultural marketplace”.
Bajaria joined Netflix in 2016 and was named Chief Content Officer of Netflix in January 2023 — a move that made her responsible for the streaming service’s TV and film output.
She is responsible for hits including ‘Bridgerton’, ‘The Queen’s Gambit’, ‘Lupin’ and ‘Cobra Kai’.
In her present role, Bajaria manages a $17 billion annual content budget and oversees teams in 27 countries.
During the past 12 months, she has brought Netflix’s 238 million members some of its most popular titles, including ‘The Night Agent’ and ‘Wednesday’ — the service’s most watched English-language original ever and a big contributor to the streamer’s 03 Emmy nominations.
Bajaria recently secured 67th spot on Forbes list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World for 2023, alongside US Vice President Kamala Harris and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Born in London and having spent her formative years in Britain and Zambia, Bajaria moved to Los Angeles at the age of 8.
Prior to joining Netflix, Bajaria was president of Universal Television where she made history as the first woman of colour to oversee a studio.
She was also named to TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list in 2022.
Kaling began her professional career as an intern on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” following which she moved on to write and perform in a variety of sketch comedy shows, including “Matt and Ben”.
In 2004, she was hired as a writer and performer on the hit television show ‘The Office’, and went on to create and star in her own television show, ‘The Mindy Project’, which premiered in 2012.
She continues to write and produce on ‘Secret Lives of College Girls’ while she ramps up development thanks to a deal with Amazon MGM Studios for titles in her Mindy’s Book Studio book club, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
On the acting front, Kaling voiced Velma in Max’s controversial but renewed animated Scooby-Doo series of the same name. She continues to show up on ‘The Morning Show’.
Earlier this year, President Joe Biden honoured her with the prestigious National Medal of Arts, one of the highest awards given to artists and arts patrons by the US government.