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Pankaj Tripathi Tops IIHB’s OTT Survey

Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pratik Gandhi and Rajkumar Rao rank next.

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The Indian Institute of Human Brands (IIHB) released its “OTT Badshahs” survey today with versatile actor Pankaj Tripathi clearly in the lead. Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Pratik Gandhi ranked at No. 2 and No. 3. IIHB had released its “OTT Queens” study in January earlier this year. 

As per the IIHB study, Pankaj Tripathi leads the hit parade on OTT, by far. His towering personality and his stellar performances stand out amongst the top-runners. “He has style, he has panache. At the same time he has maturity and gravitas. His choice of roles too is well curated and carefully calibrated to show the enormous range of his histrionic skills. For now, Pankaj Tripathi is the undoubted King of Kings in OTT today” says Dr. Sandeep Goyal, Chief Mentor of the Indian Institute of Human Brands (IIHB). 

The Top 10 (based on average indexed perception ratings) amongst the OTT Badshahs are: 





Pankaj Tripathi



Nawazuddin Siddiqui



Pratik Gandhi



Rajkumar Rao



Amit Sadh



Vicky Kaushal



Saif Ali Khan



Manoj Bajpayee



Anil Kapoor



KK Menon


Nawazuddin and Rajkumar Rao are no surprises in the top rungs. It is Amit Sadh whose name sparkles near the top. For him to rank ahead of Bollywood biggies Vicky Kaushal, Saif Ali Khan, Manoj Bajpayee and Anil Kapoor is sure indication of his talent and prowess that is not bedimmed in anyway by much better known peers.  

“Pratik Gandhi is talent that has climbed the ranks very very fast. It helped that he was already a well reputed actor of Gujarati theatre. Also, his Harshad Mehta role-fit was a masterly display of many emotions that ranged from exuberance to arrogance; then dejection to defeat. Gandhi has a long road of potential success and fame ahead of him”, adds Dr. Goyal. 

All of the leading male actors on OTT were analysed over 33 attributes. Confidence scored highest as the lead attribute for OTT males by far. “Confidence is not just the manner in which you carry yourself; it is really the innate inner strength that you portray in every role you essay. Does it come out of sheer experience? Or is it something an actor is born with? Or is it just a state of mind? In the OTT business, this confidence is what separates the men from the boys”, the survey report states. 

Interestingly, Unconventional ranks pretty high amongst the lead attributes in the OTT domain. Research shows that Unconventional is not just a personal trait but also the choice of roles that actors opt for, and then maximise in their performance. Which is why it is closely linked to the next highest ranked attribute, Versatility. Getting type-cast or stereotyped can become a serious liability over time because themes and viewer choices can change over a time continuum, and if a stereotype is no longer in favour, then that could become career-limiting. It has happened in television too. Some very successful actors of mythologicals got so identified with certain types of roles that they just couldn’t find good fits in mainstream themes thereafter. 

When only the Top 10 key drivers (out of the 33 parameters)of OTT are taken into account, Nawazuddin Siddiqui narrowly noses ahead of the entire pack. The rankings don’t change significantly but SaifAli Khan and Manoj Bajpayee do jump the queue somewhat. Abhishek Bachchan and Arshad Warsi do also improve their standings when selective top parameters alone become the criteria for selection. Scores for Kunal Kemmu and PrateikBabbar are very weak. So also for   Rajeev Khandelwal. They either need better roles or they could get knocked off the elite list in the near future. Strangely, Vicky Kaushal is far lower in the rankings than expected. “He will need to invest more time and energy to OTT if he has to seen as a leader of the pack in this domain”, says the IIHB report. 

The IIHB survey is based on 823 interviews with respondents All India (M=489, F=334) conducted in May-June 2021.


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