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Swati Shetty, Netflix’s India head of content, to step down

Swati Shetty, who headed the content operations for Netflix India, has stepped down from her role, reports Variety. The company said that it is placing more emphasis on India, and the role should be fulfilled from Mumbai, and not Los Angeles, where Shetty is currently based out of. “It’s a pity she doesn’t want to move back to India,” Variety quotes a Netflix spokesman as saying.

Netflix has not announced a successor, nor a timeline for their appointment.

Shetty had joined the company in August 2016 as the director of international originals and acquisitions. Prior to joining Netflix, she was founder and director at Samosa Stories Entertainment, where she worked for 4 years. She produced Umrika, which did the rounds at global film festivals, including Sundance. She headed the motion pictures business at Balaji Telefilms for a year. Prior to that, she was an executive director for Walt Disney Studios in India for over 2 years. She has also been with Disney ABC Television Group, Star India and Eli Lilly India.

Netflix hires

  • Rachel Whetstone joined Netflix as communications head in August from a prior role at Facebook.
  • In April, Srishti Behl joined Netflix India as director of International Originals to build its originals portfolio in the country.

Netflix’s India momentum

Netflix’s emphasis on the country has been long coming, it broke through with the release of Sacred Games first season earlier this year. Last month, it said Asia, and India in particular, was key territory for future plans.

It plans to make 17 new original productions in Asia, with nine of those in India. Here is a list of upcoming Netflix productions in India (including Baahubali and an Emraan Hashmi starring political thriller).

In an investor call earlier this year, Netflix CFO Greg Peters said that it is “just getting started in India” and that the company has a long runway ahead of itself. Last month, CEO Reed Hastings said India could deliver its next 100 million subscribers. That’s ambitious, given that Indian accounted for one percent of the 23.78 million members Netflix added worldwide in 2017, according to IHS-Markit.

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