Ronnie Screwvala

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Ronnie Screwvala
Ronnie Screwvala 2007 - still 18374 crop.jpg
Born Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Nationality Indian
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
Spouse(s) Zarina Mehta[1]
Children Trishya Screwvala

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).[2] He was also listed amongst 25 Asia’s Most Powerful by Fortune Magazine, titled the Jack Warner of India by Newsweek,[3] and named Entrepreneur of the year by Ernst & Young.

Early life and education[edit]

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.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Screwvala is married to Zarina Mehta. They live in Breach Candy, South Mumbai.[5]

Career[edit]

Network[edit]

Screwvala started off as a local cable TV operator in Mumbai under the company Network in 1981.[6] 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.[7] He also started producing advertisements and content for Doordarshan with serials like Lifeline and Shanti.[8]

United Television Group (UTV)[edit]

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.[9]

Current ventures[edit]

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.

Philanthropy[edit]

Swades[edit]

Screwvala laid the foundation of Society to Heal Aid Restore Educate (SHARE) for rural development in Maharashtra.[10]

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.[11]

Unilazer Ventures Ltd[edit]

Screwvala owns a private equity business called Unilazer Ventures Ltd.[12]

Filmography[edit]

The following is a list of films produced/ co-produced by Screwvala[13]

Year Title
1988 Such a Long Journey
1997 Dil Ke Jharoke Main
2000 Fiza
2004 Lakshya
2004 Swades
2005 D
2005 Main, Meri Patni Aur Woh
2005 The Blue Umbrella
2006 Rang De Basanti
2006 Chup Chup Ke
2006 The Namesake
2006 Khosla Ka Ghosla
2007 I Think I Love My Wife
2007 Hattrick
2007 Life in a Metro
2007 Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal
2008 Phir Kabhi
2008 Jodhaa Akbar
2008 Aamir
2008 The Happening
2008 A Wednesday
2008 Poi Solla Porom
2008 Welcome to Sajjanpur
2008 Fashion
2008 Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!
2009 Dev D
2009 Delhi-6
2009 Dhoondte Reh Jaaoge
2009 ExTerminators
2009 Harishchandrachi Factory
2009 Agyaat: The Unknown
2009 Kaminey: The Scoundrels
2009 Aagey Se Right
2009 What's Your Raashee?
2009 Main Aurr Mrs Khanna
2010 Chance Pe Dance
2010 Peepli Live
2010 Hook Ya Crook
2010 Udaan
2010 I Hate Luv Storys
2010 Phillum City
2010 Paan Singh Tomar
2010 Guzaarish
2010 Tees Maar Khan
2011 No One Killed Jessica
2011 7 Khoon Maaf
2011 Thank You
2011 Delhi Belly
2011 Chillar Party
2011 Deiva Thirumagal
2011 Muran
2011 My Friend Pinto
2012 Vazhakku Enn 18/9
2012 Grandmaster
2012 Arjun: The Warrior Prince
2012 Rowdy Rathore
2012 Mugamoodi
2012 Barfi!
2012 Heroine
2012 Husbands in Goa
2012 Thaandavam
2013 ABCD (Any Body Can Dance)
2013 Kai Po Che!
2013 Himmatwala
2013 Settai
2013 Ghanchakkar
2013 Chennai Express
2013 Satyagraha

References[edit]

  1. ^ Humaira Ansari (2010-09-27). "This Parsi cook’s secret lies in her grandma’s recipes". DNA India. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  2. ^ "Ronnie Screwvala". Esquire. 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  3. ^ "Ronnie Screwvala - The 2009 TIME 100 Finalists". TIME. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  4. ^ RAHUL BHATIA (1 June 2012). "The Interpreter". The Caravan. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  5. ^ Shirin Kumaana-Wadia (2008-06-25). "Ronnie Screwvala: Bollywood to Hollywood". Parsi Khabar. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  6. ^ http://www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/interpreter
  7. ^ "Behind Ronnie Screwvala's Rs 2,000-cr Walt Disney deal". Business Today. 2011-12-08. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  8. ^ http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-heroes/ronnie-screwvala.html
  9. ^ http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-heroes/ronnie-screwvala.html
  10. ^ Sreelatha Menon (2012-12-08). "Come home to the Village". Business Standard. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  11. ^ "Society to Heal Aid Restore Educate". Swades Foundation. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  12. ^ "Unilazer Ventures Private Limited - Value Added Strategic Investor". Unilazer.com. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  13. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0780098/