Some women lead by sheer power. Charisma is their middle name, and commanding professional excellence, their forte, for themselves as well as those they work with. CineBlitz puts together a Power List of 10 hugely successful women from different aspects of the entertainment industry. They range from stars and actors, to filmmakers and corporate heads. Needless to say, the industry is strengthened by their contribution. These are women of strength and determination, and are unapologetically ambitious. The usual suspects Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Alia Bhatt are a part of our list. But who is the surprise package? Find out!
1. Ekta Kapoor
She is the TV Czarina who has made content for cinema just like she does for television. Ekta has one of the sharpest brains in the business and doesn’t like to take the conventional route. She started with horror films. But now she has several successful films like Dirty Picture and Veere Di Wedding. She is unafraid of backing the dark horse. And her business acumen is so keen, she invariably emerges the winner. Even as a young girl in the business, Ekta was instrumental in changing the face of Indian television.
Famed for her temper, Ekta expects nothing short of perfection from her staff. That’s the reason at any given point in time, Balaji Telefilms has a host of serials on air leading the TRP ratings. She has given middle-class housewives aspirational living on a platter. She has created trends from the characters and costumes in her soaps. Forward thinking, savvy and completely in love with work, Ekta parties equally hard. She is also the pioneer of young content, putting Alt Balaji way ahead of other contenders in India.
Ekta recently made the news when she had a child via surrogacy, cocking a snook at the ticking biological clock. She’s reigned over television for two decades and counting. In fact, she has probably snagged that spot till eternity. Ekta’s successes could fill the pages of a novelette. Defiant, that she is! Conformity is not a word in Ekta Kapoor’s dictionary.
2. Deepika Padukone
She is the reigning industry queen and the only Indian actor to be on the Time 100 Power List last year. She has crossed the heights of success, leaving her contemporaries far behind. She is also the highest paid actress in Hindi films currently. On her throne right now, Deepika is as versatile an actor as she is the classic Indian beauty. She fits into the Bollywood heroine mould effortlessly. But is yet capable of surprising you as the girl next- door, like she did in Piku. She can even stun you with her valour and grace as Padmavati and Mastani.
Respected, loved and sought after, Deepika is currently the envy of half the nation’s populace, since she married her love, Ranveer Singh. For all the superlatives defining her, Deepika Padukone remains grounded and natural. She does not wear two faces. Her very presence stirs one to a state of joy and happiness, such a blithe spirit is the lovely Deepika.
3. Alia Bhatt
No one would have thought that after doing Student Of The Year, she would carry off a Highway. Barely 26 now, Alia Bhatt has already racked in seven years of consistent success. Her impeccable career track record and the range of roles that she has portrayed are screaming proof of her outstanding talent. At a time when other kids were partying away, Alia was familiarising herself with the craft of acting. And for someone so young, she has a tremendous understanding of the craft.
Her assumption of characters arefar beyond her reality and maturity. In fact, the delivery of her roles is uncommonly insightful. Understandably, she has delivered one hit performance after another. While in her early years, Alia faced numerous blindsided detractors. She wisely chose to ignore them as she laughed her way to the bank. The little girl has blossomed into a woman of substance. Today, Alia Bhatt is a name every filmmaker worth his salt wants to work with.
4. Kangana Ranaut
She is an edgy actress who has never played a conventional heroine. She may be the controversy queen but has gone ahead and directed a film like Manikarnika. She has faced brickbats, and stood her ground, at the cost of alienating industry toadies. She was a gauche 18-year-old who set the screen ablaze from her performance in Anurag Basu’s Gangster. Her ascent up the ladder to success and fame was quite rapid since then. And it is all because of her raw passion. Her unpolished talent was soon buffed to a glossy sheen, with time spent learning the ways of the industry.
Along the years, Kangana steadily mapped a charted course, goal to goalpost. She broke many a hidebound convention and sculpted her career with a high degree of finesse. Unconventional in her choices, both personal and professional, the mercurial actress’ forte is intense psychological drama. She’s done wonderful work, whether in a Queen (which won her a National Award), a Tanu Weds Manu and its sequel, or a Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi.
Today, Kangana is justifiably counted amongst the top three heroines in Bollywood. And her gutsy bets have reaped rich dividends professionally for her. She manages to be in the headlines primarily for her outspokenness. Though she has held herself distinctly apart from the rat-race, which she is not running. Her life choices (and her keen sartorial ones too) are an extension of her multi-dimensional moods and personality.
5. Zoya Akhtar
Zoya has changed the grammar of Hindi cinema with Gully Boy. Her deep understanding of the milieu she creates in her films is testament to her talent. She has given Bollywood a new face and new music that is completely original. Like cousin Farah Khan, she never fell into the trap of making women-centric cinema. A maverick who works at her own unhurried pace, Zoya is not racing towards expected goals. But when she does put out her work for judgement, you can be sure it touches a chord in our collective desi hearts. Today, Zoya Akhtar is a director that every actor wants to be cast by!
6. Priyanka Chopra
She is a global icon and India’s face in Hollywood. She may not have seen unlimited and unbroken success at the box office here, but Priyanka Chopra is definitely a commercial success in Hollywood. Like Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex And The City, her face adorns the surfaces of buses and hoardings in America. She has literally bridged the gap between the two industries with her marriage to singer Nick Jonas. With a carefully crafted career that straddles two continents, Priyanka wears her achievements with grace. She rubs shoulders with country heads, Prime Ministers and the who’s who of Hollywood. She is possibly one of the country’s best representatives in the way she carries herself at all times. In fact, she is an invaluable export that we should claim back in Bollywood.
7. Jyoti Deshpande
Jyoti is leading the charge to make Jio’s Studios the Numero Uno player in the content space. They want to lead not only in the Hindi content, but also in regional based movies and in digital shows. She took over as the President (Media and Entertainment Business) at Reliance Industries Ltd. in 2018. This, after six years served as Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Eros International Plc. There she spearheaded Eros’ growth as a global leader in Indian film entertainment.
She brings a wealth of two-and-a-half decades of experience in the media and entertainment world. It spans experience in advertising, television, media consulting, and films. Her leadership in Eros had her heading business strategy and operations. In the early millennium years, she was part of the senior management team that founded B4U Television Network. She is a regular speaker at industry forums. Jyoti is also a member of the British Film Institute. Her skill set is a coveted one and she is also on the board of 10 other companies, when she is not helping Reliance build its humungous profile in the entertainment space.
8. Simran Sethi
Simran is the most sought after executive for OTT. All the big Bollywood producers and directors are chasing her to green-light their shows on the international streaming platform. The former Freeform executive is based in L.A. and serves as creative executive for India. She is also a part of Netflix’s International Originals Production Group. Before Freeform, Simran held coveted posts at NBC, Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions and Sony Pictures Television. Currently, the Netflix bosses are making concerted efforts to align with top Bollywood talent. They want to break into the Indian market before their staunchest competitor, Amazon captures that space, as a giant step in global expansion. With the dynamic Simran at the helm, a great future is predicted.
9. Kareena Kapoor Khan
Mother, mate or marquee diva, she sashays through each role with the utmost panaché. When you want to define glamour, one automatically thinks Kareena. She’s the undisputed empress of style, sass and seduction. Kareena Kapoor Khan is a blue-blooded Bollywoodian. She is also probably the front-runner in carrying forward the glorious Kapoor legacy. You see, the Kapoor’s didn’t allow actresses in the family till Karisma entered films. And that paved way for Kareena’s eventful and illustrious trek onwards. The actress is truly a modern actress juggling several roles.
Bebo is not in a hurry to prove a point to the world. But if she is in a film, she unabashedly steals the show. She has inspired so many actresses including the current darling – Alia Bhatt. Kareena is not unaware of her inherent glamour. But she hasn’t exerted herself in exploring more of it! Who would’ve thought that as a radio jockey, she’d outperform the regular dudes at the job? Witty, blunt and open, Kareena’s inner goddess dances to many tunes. There’s no one that quite matches the wholesome package that is Kareena Kapoor Khan.
10. Reshma Shetty
She is the sole intellect that redefined Salman Khan’s career and gave it direction and dimension. Reshma Shetty took Salman’s talent, charisma, shenanigans and all, and sent him hurtling to the top of the Bollywood heroes brigade. And it is a position that still remains unshakeable, flop films notwithstanding. Currently, she is helping Akshay Kumar and Abhishek Bachchan steer their careers in making the right deals. She has consistently displayed the Midas touch in turning around the fortunes of actors that she backs. She is the queen of strategy.
As a Bollywood agent, Reshma’s mantra is simple, “Build the client’s trust, reputation, and wealth.” In fact, it works even in the face of the toughest of issues. Now who would want to deny that logic? More than half the top actors in Bollywood are managed by Reshma Shetty’s company Matrix. She puts them in the limelight and keeps them there. And she herself has consistently made it to power lists down the years. Considering a large part of her job involves keeping her clients in the media spotlight, strangely she’s known to be camera-shy and media-averse.
Well, these were our picks of the most powerful women in the Entertainment space. But who is the most powerful woman according to you? Share with us your thoughts in the comments section below! In the meantime, here’s wishing every lady out there a very Happy Women’s Day. Also stay tuned to CineBlitz for more news and updates from the world of Bollywood.
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar – the top 5 OTT Power Players!
From Netflix to Hotstar, we look at the top five leading OTT platforms, which have unleashed a change in consumption of content
The past few years have seen OTT platforms mushrooming in dozens, and with a few more in the pipeline, it seems the invasion of Indian drawing rooms has truly begun. The streaming platforms have surely and certainly created a dent in the traditional viewing pattern of the average Indian. If Amazon Prime and ALT Balaji are offering their content for less than Rs 150 a month, it is nothing short of a revolution in the domain of entertainment.
But amidst the barrage of OTT platforms, it’s the quality of the content that remains the differentiating factor. Abhishek Srivastava lists the top five leading OTT platforms which have unleashed a change.
When it comes to content, Netflix remains the numero uno leader of the Indian market. It must be noted here that the streaming giant reached the shores of this country much before, but took its own sweet time to acclimatize itself to the Indian palate. When the initial research got over, they came up with their first offering in the form of Sacred Games.
The series, helmed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, proved to be a game-changer and created a grammar for other platforms. The success of Sacred Games was soon followed by the supernatural thriller Ghoul, which further cemented their reputation that when it comes to content, the word ‘compromise’ simply does not exist in the dictionary of the Netflix mandarins.
The gap between their launches clearly indicates that the streaming platform is here for the long haul. Their recent success story has been the gritty Delhi Crime, and their victory is reflective in the fact that the series, loosely based on the infamous Nirbhaya case, did not receive a single negative review across publications. With films like Love Per Square Foot and Once Again, their strategy is clear that riveting content is sacrosanct.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon India was the first to ride the crest of the OTT wave in the country when it announced that 15 top filmmakers of the country would be making content for the platform. The announcement was made more than two years ago in Dec 2016, when leading filmmakers of the country gathered under one platform at a five-star hotel.
The association included production houses like Excel Entertainment (Farhan Akhtar), Equinox Features (Ram Madhvani), Abundantia Entertainment (Vikram Malhotra), AIB, OML, Phantom Films (Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Vikas Bahl & Madhu Mantena), D2R films (DK & Raj Nidimoru), Raapchik Films (Raj Kumar Gupta), Pritish Nandy Communication (Pritish Nandy), and Fission Features (Asif Kapadia) among others, but barring Excel Entertainment, PNC, Abundantia and OML, the content of the other production houses is yet to see the light of day.
After the exit of Nitesh Kripalani, the big boss at Amazon Video, things went for a toss and it took a while for the streaming platform to get their house in order. With Inside Edge, they started their journey, and with Breathe, Mirzapur and the more recent Made in Heaven, they communicated to everyone that they are determined to make up for lost time.
Disney considers Hotstar India a jewel in their crown when it comes to their Indian operations. The merger of Fox with the biggest entertainment company of the world, ensured that Hotstar India would now be governed by Disney management. Though Hotstar India remains the oldest and the biggest in terms of subscribers, somehow it was sports more than the original programming which drove the platform.
It was primarily foreign content acquired from HBO, Disney, Hulu and Showtime which ensured that viewers had their quota of entertainment. Local content was just not on their radar. But the strides Netflix and Amazon have made in the past few months have forced Hotstar to change their strategy.
The recent launch of Hotstar Specials is an indicator of the heat they have been feeling because of the onslaught of desi content by videshi giants. Roar of the Lion (helmed by Kabir Khan) and Criminal Justice (Tigmanshu Dhulia as the show runner) prove that they too are ready for the competition. Up next will be Shekhar Kapur’s special for the platform.
It’s been a while for Eros Now, since they started offering content through their platform, but their lackluster content has not really helped them in getting to the next level. Smoke, Metro Park and Flip have been their big ticket, but none of them could manage an audience.
Even the presence of seasoned actors like Jim Sarbh, Kalki Koechlin, Neil Bhoopalam and Gulshan Devaiah could not save the below par script of Smoke. The streaming platform has an uphill task ahead of them with three of the major players – Netflix, Amazon and Hotstar upping the ante.
ALT Balaji it seems, is in the volume game. When the platform launched Bose and The Test Case, the message was loud and clear – good content remains their only prerogative. But with the passage of time, quality somehow has taken a backseat for the streaming platform, and instead, volume seems to have become their mantra.
When offerings like Haq Se, Home, and Class of 2017 came, the platform then resorted to the cheap gimmick of offering sleaze to their viewers, and thus came series like Gandi Baat, XXX, Dev DD and Ragini MMS Returns. Though none of their offerings could repeat the magic of Bose, the platform is still on the lookout for their next tent pole.
Nia Sharma, Hina Khan, Kapil Sharma, Shaheer Sheikh: 10 most powerful actors on Television today
10 Ladies and Gentlemen from the small-screen who surely should take a bow
Even though we may call television the small screen, its magnitude is way bigger than our imaginations. Be it on social media, in real life, or even through their characters, these 10 actors have made an effort to touch our hearts and inspire us in one way or the other. Check out our Power List from television, as we list the stars who not only shone bright, but even connected to us at some level.
1. Nia Sharma
The sultry siren from the small screen might invite a controversy or social media trolling every now and then, but she never lets all this affect her. Yes, with her victory march every year, Nia manages to stay amongst the most celebrated TV actresses. In fact, she has been on the 50 sexiest Asian women list for three consecutive years, leaving far behind some Bollywood beauties too. Nia was on the 3rd position on this list in 2016, she took the 2nd spot leaving Priyanka Chopra Jonas behind in 2017, and in 2018, the lady made it again to 3rd position. But she was definitely the first one from the TV industry to make it to that list. Even as we speak, the actress continues to inspire us on fitness and fashion, and in life.
2. Kapil Sharma
Amongst the men from the television industry, Kapil Sharma tops the list of names to look up to, and on the popularity charts. His times of turmoil did not shake the man who changed the entire arena of comedy in India. Not only did Kapil make people laugh, but his fight with his down-time and ill-health last year, inspired many. He did a couple of films namely, Kis Kisko Pyaar Karu and Firangi, and also anchors one of the best shows on Indian television, namely his eponymously titled The Kapil Sharma Show. Yes, he fell, he picked himself up, and is now running faster than before, flaunting that eye-crinkling smile of his. And we hope he keeps rocking!
3. Divyanka Tripathi Dahiya
“Too much of sweetness might taste bitter…” certainly does not apply to the case of one of television’s favourite leading lady. Yes, with a sweet smile and a sweeter stance, Divyanka Tripthai Dahiya has conquered more than a million hearts. She played India’s favourite mother on Yeh Hai Mohabbatein, and is now hosting a popular reality show called The Voice. The actress is one of the most followed Indian TV celebs on social media. With more than 10 million followers on Instagram, there has never been a time when Divyanka has invited trolling. In fact, all her fans always have only good things to speak about her.
4. Ravi Dubey
Well, being the highest paid TV actor proves that Ravi Dubey is a power house of talent. Other than casting his charm with his stellar performances, this actor has also been quite a popular host. Moreover, he also tried his luck at the movies and recently ventured into production. Well, the actor slays with his style on social media and going by reports, he might take up something on the styling front soon. With so much on his plate, Ravi Dubey is a shoo-in to this list.
5. Hina Khan
Hina has been India’s favourite bahu for eight years on Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. Working with the best of directors, the actress has managed to show various shades on the small screen. And we must say, Hina is a woman of substance. Not only did she make it amongst the top 10 of the 50 sexiest Asian women list, but she has been amongst the top contenders on various reality shows. Currently playing a celebrated vamp on Kasautii Zindagi Kay 2, Hina only has great things in future to look forward to. Yes, the actress is going to be seen in a Vikram Bhatt film soon, and we know that like everything else she does, she will excel on the big screen too.
6. Sunil Grover
We all know the man who won our hearts with his woman avatar, and we miss seeing him in that. But Sunil has only gotten bigger with time; the versatile actor made his film debut a couple of years ago, and is soon to be seen in another big film, ie. Salman Khan’s Bharat. In fact, after parting ways with Kapil, he went onto to spearhead another comedy show, which became quite successful. And the comedian-turned-actor has some good times ahead. After Bharat, he will be seen hosting the ninth season of the dance reality show Nach Baliye. And we know Sunil’s presence will make that show a riotous hit!
7. Sriti Jha
Though she might not be as popular as a Hina Khan or a Divyanka Tripathi, Sriti makes it to our power-list for more than one reason. Well, we all know she plays the very popular character of Pragya on Kumkum Bhagya. But other than just being a leading lady on a daily soap, Sriti has also been endorsing several humanitarian causes. She has participated in various literary festivals and has inspired a multitude of people. Her video with a transgender got a lot of praise, So we truly celebrate Sriti for not just entertaining, but for trying to make a change in the simplest way possible.
8. Shaheer Sheikh
This heartthrob from the small screen has been one of the most desirable actors in telly town. With looks to die for, Shaheer also has an endearing charm that cannot be missed. And with all this, he obviously has an amazing fan following. He’s been a part of some really big shows, and is currently playing the lead on Rajan Shahi’s Yeh Rishtey Hai Pyaar Ke. Other than this, Shaheer also has a crazy fan following in Indonesia, and the actor is doing some films in Indonesia and Thailand. With so much on his plate, Shaheer is already a force to reckon with, and a celebrated name in the television industry.
9. Bharti Singh
Comedienne Bharti Singh is a success story in the true sense of the phrase. The comedian-turned-actress is one of the most popular names from the TV industry, and her journey to stardom is quite inspiring. She was last seen on Khatron Ke Khiladi, and is now also co-producing a prank-based show called Khatra Khatra Khatra with husband Harsh Limbachiyaa. Bharti has featured in a few films and also hosted some shows. She is the first female stand-up comedian to get this kind of fame and fight all her odds to be in the place she is in. The reasons for her popularity are many, her immense talent and naturally cute comic comebacks, her admittedly obvious fearless spirit and her sporting sense where she is game being the butt of comedy herself too, and her confident in her talent and craft.
10. Ronit Roy
Ronit Roy has been in the acting world for a very long time, in fact, he has even played some cult characters on the small screen. From being Mr Bajaj on Kasautii Zindagi Kay to playing Mihir Virani in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, his body of work has been nothing short of impressive. Now the actor has also established a firm foot in films, and we have seen him in some amazing roles on the big screen. His upcoming movies are Arjun Patiala as well as Shamshera. Other than TV and films, Ronit also successfully exploring the web space and his show Kehno Ko Humsafar Hai on ALT Balaji is loved by many. With so much diversity in his craft and a lot more to discover, this actor is truly a power house of talent.
Let us know who your favourite from these actors is with comments in the section below. Also, stay tuned to CineBlitz for more interesting updates from the television industry.
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