In a bid to strengthen its presence in India and the Asia Pacific region, popular online streaming service Netflix on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of two Indian executives– Gaurav Pradhan, director of business development for Asia and Swati Shetty, who will be responsible for original content production and acquisition.
Pradhan will be overseeing Netflix’s business development efforts in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Media website Indiantelevision.com first wrote about the two appointments on Tuesday evening.
“We are truly excited to have Gaurav and Swati on our team, the breadth and depth of their experience will play a critical part in strengthening our Netflix service in India,” a company spokesperson in the US said in an emailed statement.
These appointments come at a time when the company hasn’t been able to create a dent in the Indian market since its launch in January, six months ago. The company launched its services globally, simultaneously bringing its Internet TV network to more than 130 new countries, including India on 6 January.
Pradhan joins Netflix from Google’s video streaming service Youtube, where he spent over five years as head for product partnerships for YouTube in India and South-East Asia. Prior to this, he worked at search giant Yahoo in India.
Shetty is the founder director of Samosa Stories Entertainment Pvt Ltd and has previously worked as president of motion pictures for Balaji Telefilms, promoted by Ekta Kapoor, for over a year. She was the executive director of Walt Disney International Productions India for two years and director of India for Disney ABC International TV for about two years.
Netflix is the world’s leading movie and TV show streaming network with over 70 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films.
In India, its only big achievement so far has been the announcement of its first original series in the country based on novelist Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games, which dwells on small-time hustling to armed gang wars, of good men going to seed and the upward mobility of the baddies. The company has partnered with Phantom Films, a film studio founded by Anurag Kashyap, Madhu Mantena, Vikramaditya Motwane and Vikas Bahl to produce the series.
Last week, the company launched its first-ever digital brand film for India titled Commitment which features standup comedian Abish Mathew.
To be sure, in India, Netflix faces competition from more than a dozen online streaming services in the entertainment segment. Independent OTT (over the top) services brands such as Spuul, HOOQ, YuppTV and PressPlay, among others, have already launched operations in the country and boast of a significant number of subscribers. On the other side are a clutch of online streaming brands of leading television broadcasters such as Zee, Sony and Star under brands such as Ditto, Sony Liv and Hotstar, respectively. Hotstar recently started selling its most popular international TV series and films, largely from the 21st Century Fox library, for a monthly subscription fee of Rs.199 ($2.98). Netflix’s content subscription plans start at Rs.500 ($7.49) per month.
The video streaming service also offers two other plans priced at Rs.650 ($9.73) and Rs.800 ($11.98).
This story was first published on livemint.com