|Born||Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
|Occupation||Managing Director of The Walt Disney Company India,Co-founder of the erstwhile UTV Group,Founder Trustee of Swades Foundation,Founder of Unilazer Ventures|
|Years active||1981- Present|
Rohinton Soli "Ronnie" Screwvala is an Indian entrepreneur and social philanthropist. He was the founder and CEO of UTV Group (UTV Software Communications, Bloomberg UTV, and UTV Motion Pictures), which was founded in the year 1990. Screwvala was the Managing Director of Disney- UTV India, Managing Trustee of the Swades Foundation and Founder & Advisor: at Unilazer Ventures Ltd., (a privately held PE/VC & Business Company).
In January 2014, Ronnie exited the company he founded and in the process he also exited media and entertainment sector.
He has been named on Esquire's List of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century (September 2008) and ranked 78 among the 100 most influential people in the world on the Time 100 (complied by Time Magazine, 2009). He was also listed amongst 25 Asia’s Most Powerful by Fortune Magazine, titled the Jack Warner of India by Newsweek, and named Entrepreneur of the year by Ernst & Young.
Early life and education
Screwvala was born in Mumbai in a Parsi family. His father was an executive at the British firms J L Morrison and Smith & Nephew. Screwvala studied at Cathedral and John Connon School and Sydenham College.
Screwvala also had a keen interest in theatre while in school and acted in professional plays with Bombay theatre greats like Pearl and Alyque Padamsee. He portrayed the roles of Harold ‘Happy’ Loman in Death of a Salesman and Cassio in Othello. Screwvala’s theatre career ended when he stopped going for rehearsals to start his own toothbrush business.
Screwvala started off as a local cable TV operator in Mumbai under the company Network in 1981. At the time when there was only Doordarshan, the state television provider, Network offered a three-hour video channel showing movies to some homes in Maker Towers in the affluent Cuffe Parade area of Mumbai. He also started producing advertisements and content for Doordarshan with serials like Lifeline and Shanti.
United Television Group (UTV)
Screwvala founded the UTV Group in 1990 providing television content to broadcasters. In a span of less than 2 decades, UTV expanded into broadcasting, gaming, film and other businesses. The first film produced by his company was Dil Ke Jharoke Main.He also launched the Hungama Channel in 2004 which was highly successful and become one of the leading children's television channels in India UTV group became listed on the Indian Stock Exchange in 2005.
In February 2012, The Walt Disney Co. took over UTV and Ronnie Screwvala stayed on as MD of the Walt Disney Company India. Then in October 2013, he handed over the reins to protégé Siddharth Roy Kapur and exited the company he had founded, thereby exiting the media and entertainment sector completely. He is now focusing on private equity on strategic investments and philanthropy. He already holds a 40 percent stake in INI farms and aims to produce premium farm products. His e-commerce ventures include zivame.com, a lingerie e-store and lenskart.com an eyewear shopping portal and he is in the process of developing an e-shopping website for furniture as well.
Swades, under his former brand name SHARE, in the last five years has provided 39,000 people in 139 villages in rural Maharashtra with drinking water. Through Swades, Screwvala sees empowering communities with choices for themselves and their families, the capability of transforming their own lives.
Unilazer Ventures Ltd
The following is a list of films produced/ co-produced by Screwvala
- Humaira Ansari (2010-09-27). "This Parsi cook’s secret lies in her grandma’s recipes". DNA India. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
- "Ronnie Screwvala". Esquire. 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
- "Ronnie Screwvala - The 2009 TIME 100 Finalists". TIME. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
- RAHUL BHATIA (1 June 2012). "The Interpreter". The Caravan. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
- Shirin Kumaana-Wadia (2008-06-25). "Ronnie Screwvala: Bollywood to Hollywood". Parsi Khabar. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
- "Behind Ronnie Screwvala's Rs 2,000-cr Walt Disney deal". Business Today. 2011-12-08. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
- Sreelatha Menon (2012-12-08). "Come home to the Village". Business Standard. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
- "Society to Heal Aid Restore Educate". Swades Foundation. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
- "Unilazer Ventures Private Limited - Value Added Strategic Investor". Unilazer.com. Retrieved 2013-03-08.