Why Wasn’t Netflix India Involved in ‘Indian Matchmaking’?
There’s a degree of irony in the fact that Netflix unscripted dating show “Indian Matchmaking,” the most distinctly Indian non-fiction series to originate from a platform aggressively expanding operations in India, was commissioned out of Los Angeles, rather than Mumbai.
Netflix launched in India in 2016, and homegrown commissions became available from 2018 in a market that thrives on local fare. It didn’t help optics that key content execs Swati Shetty and Simran Sethi opted to resign rather than be based in Mumbai. They were replaced eventually by Monika Shergill in 2019, who joined existing director of originals Srishti Behl Arya. Ultimately, the streamer’s first Indian commission, 2018’s “Sacred Games,” a hit for the service, was commissioned by Erik Barmack out of the U.S.
Around this time, “Indian Matchmaking” executive producer Smriti Mundhra’s documentary “A Suitable Girl,” which she co-directed with Sarita Khurana, won the Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award at Tribeca in 2017. The same year, the Los Angeles-based Mundhra pitched her idea for an Indian dating show with a global-facing matchmaker to Netflix in the U.S. and got the greenlight.