- Clubhouse co-founder Rohan Seth; Substack co-founder Jairaj Sethi; and Netflix head of global TV Bela Bajaria “seized the opportunity to orchestrate their own sort of innovation, opening new doors to cultural inclusion and expansion in Hollywood.”
Clubhouse co-founder Rohan Seth; Substack co-founder Jairaj Sethi; and Netflix head of global TV Bela Bajaria are among 15 Hollywood disruptors in The Wrap’s ‘Innovators List 2021.’ According to the online news website covering the business of entertainment and media, the artists, entrepreneurs and pioneers included in the list “have seized the opportunity to orchestrate their own sort of innovation, opening new doors to cultural inclusion and expansion in Hollywood,” despite the fallout faced by the entertainment industry due to the streaming and pandemic fallout.
Rohan Seth and Paul Davison started Clubhouse in 2019, the social audio platform was meant to be a podcast platform. “When they rebranded as Clubhouse the following year just as the pandemic hit the U.S., the company’s invite-only rooms became the new medium of choice for many users in lockdown,” says The Wrap. Recently, the app ditched its invite model and opened up the platform to everyone as downloads and activity continued growing. Seth is also working on Lydian Accelerator, a non-profit group for genetic treatment, inspired by his baby daughter, Lydia Niru Seth. He started Lydian Accelerator in 2019 after his daughter was born with a critical mutation gene called KCNQ2. He is married to Jennifer Seth, a Google employee.
Along with Chris Best and Hamish McKenzie, Jairaj Sethi founded the newsletter startup in 2017 out of San Francisco. In the last four years, the venture has quickly climbed its way to the top of the media world. Substack gives writers the freedom to offer their work for free or earn a living through paid subscriptions — “and so far that model seems to be working out well both for the company and writers,” according to The Wrap. Substack has brought on big-name writers and content creators like “Top Chef” host and author Padma Lakshmi and “Queer Eye” co-star Tan France.
Bela Bajaria, head of Global TV at Netflix, spearheaded Netflix’s highly popular docuseries “Indian Matchmaking,” which followed the lives of Indians and Indian Americans as they navigated dating with the help of a matchmaker. According to The Los Angeles Times, “the unscripted series in English and Hindi was a hit, watched by a quarter of Netflix’s members in India and millions of subscribers outside of India in its first four weeks.” Bajaria told The LA Times that she understood the potential of “Indian Matchmaking” “on a deeper level,” because of her familiarity with “that push-pull of America and love and arranged marriages.” She continued: “I understood when my parents asked me to do it, even though I fought with them about it.”
In her role, Bajaria is “tasked with overseeing all TV content for the global streamer, which includes a dizzying slate of scripted and unscripted series as well as overall deals with powerhouse showrunners such as Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy.