Bela Bajaria, exec VP, Universal Television

Women's Impact Report 2012: Executives

After a long run at CBS, Bela Bajaria was recruited last year by Bob Greenblatt to rebuild NBC’s network studio operation with a mandate to produce for outside nets as well as the Peacock. She hit the ground running, handling everything from the new stationery to assembling an exec team to juggling nearly two dozen pilots, including one for Fox that went the distance to a series order (“The Mindy Project”).

What we should know: “The team we’ve put together all shares a passion and drive to build this studio. The entrepreneurial spirit is so important to what we’re doing here. The opportunity to rebuild a studio — or really launch a studio — is an exciting opportunity for everyone who’s joined us. “

Change in the air: “We’ve seen it at a lot of ebb and flow at different companies at how people look at the studio within a large corporation, whether it’s having an independent studio (arm) or being mostly a supplier to sister networks. This has been an interesting transition for everyone in the industry. With so many different distribution platforms, at the end of the day it’s a smart business to own content and to diversify your portfolio.”

Words of wisdom: “When you’re an assistant on somebody’s desk, absolutely absorb everything around you. Know everyone who calls and comes in the door. Do the work by educating yourself. If you want to be an executive put in the time, read the material and be curious about the business. When I started in the TV movie department at CBS, a lot of people would reference older TV movies. I called the videotape library and asked them to pull 15 titles so I could understand what they were talking about.”

Life-work balance: “I’m lucky to have the full life that I do with my job and my (three) kids and the Indian community that I’m a part of. I have boundaries — during the weekends I’m really just with the kids.”

Charitable passions: “My mother runs a domestic violence shelter, Sahara, in Los Angeles.”

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