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OTT Power List: 10 Most Powerful Women

Neena Gupta, Radhika Apte, Maanvi Gaagroo, Mithila Palkar
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2020 might just go down in history as one of the most tragic and unprecedented years in recent times. The ever-mutating COVID-19 virus, the subsequent national lockdown and shuttering of theatres pushed even the hardest of naysayers to the realm of OTT platforms. While Netflix and Amazon Prime Video had been ruling the roost so far, other digital platforms like SonyLIV, ALTBalaji and Hotstar gave us shows and films that one could only dream about. However, despite new entries into the OTT Power List, the veterans of the digital field still rule the roost. Their performances, their polished craft and their ability to play even the most nuanced of characters with aplomb have now made them household names. While the big screen is still mostly and unfortunately is seen as man’s world, the digital world has given equal power to both the sexes. Here we list the women who’ve got all to command power.



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A post shared by Radhika (@radhikaofficial)

Age: 35
Power projects: Raat Akeli Hai, A Call to Spy

So enamoured was Netflix with Radhika Apte when they first launched in India that the platform soon began to be known as ‘Radflix’ on social media. Apte gave Netflix their first few biggies like Sacred Games and Ghoul. With her indie credibility, she helped establish the platform in the country and 2020, she gave Netflix another hit in Raat Akeli Hai. As the mysterious Radha, Apte is engaged in a battle of wits with Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Inspector Jatil Yadav. As Noor Inayat Khan in A Call to Spy which is available on Amazon Prime Video, she leaves an unmistakable legacy.



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A post shared by Shweta Tripathi Sharma (@battatawada)

Age: 35
Power project: Mirzapur 2, Cargo

Tripathi first showed us what she was capable of in 2015’s Masaan and 2020 was the year the industry gave her what she deserves. As astronaut Yuvishka Shekhar in Cargo, Tripathi set the benchmark for future eastern sci-fi projects – a genre that hasn’t had many takers in the past. As Gajgamini “Golu” Gupta in Mirzapur 2, Tripathi runs the gamut from sweet and nerdy to dark and violent. Her transition from college nerd to vengeful sister is a masterclass in acting. Also known massively by her social media handle “Battatawada”, Shweta’s popularity is at its peak right now.



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A post shared by Rasika (@rasikadugal)

Age: 35
Power projects: Lootcase, A Suitable Boy, Mirzapur, Delhi Crime

Rasika Dugal has to be one of the most underrated actors in the Hindi film industry. Her starring role in Netflix’s International Emmy-winning Delhi Crime gave us just a mere hint of what she is capable of. In 2020, she starred in comedy thriller Lootcase opposite Kunal Kemmu and Gajraj Rao and was unanimously praised for performance. While A Suitable Boy tanked, Dugal was one of the few actors who walked away without a stain due to the quality of her performance. Her stint in Mirzapur continued to wow the audience as well.



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A post shared by Neena Gupta (@neena_gupta)

Age: 61
Power projects: Panchayat, Masaba Masaba

There is not much one can say about Neena Gupta’s talent, simply because not everyone is qualified enough to judge an actress of her calibre. A big-screen fixture in recent years, Gupta shone in Panchayat and Masaba Masaba. Her Manju Devi was earthy and as desi, as it can get whereas her role as herself in Masaba Masaba was as fresh as a mojito on a scorching summer day. A little birdie also told her that she was approached to star in The Family Man too. Well, doesn’t surprise us at all that she’s so much in demand.



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A post shared by Saiyami Kher (@saiyami)

Age: 29
Power projects: Choked, Breathe: Into the Shadows, Special OPs

Saiyami Kher made her debut in 2015 but thanks to OTT, she has managed to explore the entire range of her talents in shows like Choked, Special OPS and Breathe: Into the Shadows. Despite her statuesque frame, Kher chose to play unglamorous and earthy roles and they have worked in her favour. After all, the audience is finally waking up and demanding good content and Kher sure as hell is giving them what they want.



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A post shared by Maanvi Gagroo (@maanvigagroo)

Age: 35
Power project: Four More Shots Please!

Our TVF darling, Maanvi Gagroo was already a known face on the internet way before social media really took off. Since then, she’s given us quite a ride in roles like Made in Heaven and Four More Shots Please! Despite her rising fame, Gagroo remains as humble and grounded as she was when she started and that comes across in whichever character she embodies.



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A post shared by Sayani (@sayanigupta)

Age: 35
Power projects: Axone, Four More Shots Please!

Unabashed, uninhibited and unashamed, Sayani Gupta is the rare Bollywood actor who doesn’t filter her thoughts or her words. After having done a few mindless films, Gupta made a strong comeback in Article 15, Posham Pa and Axone. However, her most recognisable character is Damini Rizvi Roy “Dee”, an investigative journalist who parties as hard as she works. She’s also become the thinking man’s sex symbol, and it definitely adds to her power.



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A post shared by Kirti Kulhari (@iamkirtikulhari)

Age: 35
Power projects: Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors, Four More Shots Please!

Kirti Kulhari’s performance in Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors was so fine that she appears to have stolen the limelight from acting greats like Pankaj Tripathi and Jisshu Sengupta. Her starring role as Anu Chandra in Apurva Asrani’s legal drama has shot her into the stratosphere, a feat that even her Anjana Menon in Four More Shots Please! couldn’t manage to do.



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A post shared by Triptii Dimri (@tripti_dimri)

Age: 25
Power project: Bulbbul

Tripti Dimri’s lead role in Netflix’s shining feminist fairy tale, Bulbbul was one of the most unprecedented performances in a year marked by unprecedented events. From the naive bride to badi bahu to vengeful goddess, Dimri’s character takes us through a gamut of emotions – a feat that other actors her age would have likely failed at. So brilliant was her performance that the actress has apparently bagged a role opposite Ranbir Kapoor in his next film. Imagine that!



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A post shared by Mithila Palkar (@mipalkarofficial)

Age: 27
Power project: Little Things, Chopsticks

Like Maanvi Gagroo, Mithila Palkar is the child of the internet. Her starring role in Little Things took the show from being a cult favourite to being acquired by the world’s most powerful streaming platform, Netflix. Mention Kavya Kulkarni and a thousand women on social media will instantly narrate episodes to you verbatim. That is Palkar’s power. 2021 also looks smashing for her as she stars with the supremely talented Kajol in the Netflix original film Tribhanga. Well, what can we say, Little Things have led to big changes in her life.