Rohinton Soli "Ronnie" Screwvala is an Indian entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the cofounder of UpGrad, an online education company. 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 UTV India, Managing Trustee of the Swades Foundation and Founder & Advisor: at Unilazer Ventures Ltd., (a privately held PE/VC & Business Company).
|Born||Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
|Occupation||Founder UTV Group (Now Walt Disney India), Founder Trustee of Swades Foundation, Founder of Unilazer Ventures, Board of Advisor AIESEC India|
|Years active||1981- Present|
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 (compiled 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 educationEdit
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 is married to Zarina Mehta, his second marriage. They live in Breach Candy, South Mumbai. His first wife's, Manjula Nanavati, father was Suresh Nanavati, Chairman of Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai and owner of Western Outdoor Advertising which at the time was one of India's largest post-production studios.
As of 2015, Ronnie Screwvala is also authoring his book. He announced its title named Dream With Your Eyes Open. Pre-Orders for the book begin in March with an eventual release date of April 2. In an interview with Livemint, Screwvala also mentioned the possibility of a TV Show following the release of the book.
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 videos (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. In February 2012, The Walt Disney Co. took over UTV and Screwvala stayed on as MD of the Walt Disney Company India. In October 2013, Screwvala handed over the reins to protégé Siddharth Roy Kapur and exited the company he had founded.
In 2014, Ronnie Screwvala became the owner of U Mumba - the Mumbai Kabaddi that plays in the Pro Kabaddi League. They were the runners up in this First year and winner of Pro Kabaddi League 2015 and Kabaddi has become the second most watched sport in India on TV after cricket.
Screwvala 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 (lenskart.com) an eyewear shopping portal and he is in the process of developing an e-shopping website for furniture as well. He has also forayed into online education with UpGrad, an online education platform offering new ages courses to working professionals.
In January 2016, Screwvala promoted an online entertainment content platform called Arré along with B. Sai Kumar, Ajay Chacko, and Sanjay Ray Chaudhary through their joint-venture digital media company, UDigital. The subscription- and branded content-based startup produces and publishes videos, audio series, web series, documentaries, and doodles through its online channel. However, in April 2016, Screwvala left the venture after which Enam Group acquired his stake.
Screwvala's independent production company is set to release its first film, Anand Tiwari's Love Per Square Foot starring Vicky Kaushal and Angira Dhar in April 2018. His next venture is a film titled 'Uri' about the 2016 Uri attack to be directed by Aditya Dhar. The film will star Vicky Kaushal and is set to release in September 2018.
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.
On 30 September 2014, Screwvala was awarded the GQ Philanthropist of the Year for his work with Swades Foundation. 
Unilazer Ventures LtdEdit
The following is a list of films produced/ co-produced by Screwvala
|2007||National Film Awards||Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment||Rang De Basanti|
|2007||Filmfare Awards||Best Film|
|2007||IIFA Awards||Best Film||Rang De Basanti|
- Humaira Ansari (27 September 2010). "This Parsi cook's secret lies in her grandma's recipes". DNA India. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- "Startup India learning programme now gets an official 'UpGrad'". Times of India. 28 September 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- "Ronnie Screwvala". Esquire. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- "Ronnie Screwvala - The 2009 TIME 100 Finalists". TIME. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- Rahul Bhatia (1 June 2012). "The Interpreter". The Caravan. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
- James Crabtree (28 June 2013). "At home: Ronnie Screwvala". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- Shirin Kumaana-Wadia (25 June 2008). "Ronnie Screwvala: Bollywood to Hollywood". Parsi Khabar. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- Ira Gudal (7 September 2015). "Ronnie Screwvala - The disruptive entrepreneur". Mint. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
- "Behind Ronnie Screwvala's Rs 2,000-cr Walt Disney deal". Business Today. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- "Ronnie Screwvala Biography". I Love India.
- Shailendra Awasthi (1 September 2014). "Jaipur Pink Panthers beat U Mumba to win Pro Kabaddi title". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
- Madhav Chanchani (24 July 2015). "Ronnie Screwvala's online education venture UpGrad is launching a course in entrepreneurship". ET Chandigarh. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- Choudhary, Vidhi (22 October 2015), Will Ronnie Screwvala’s bold new bet with Arré pay off?, Livemint, retrieved 6 May 2016
- "Arré", Arré, January 2016, retrieved 6 May 2016
- Arre' to Launch India's First Digital Reality Series, Business Wire India, 2 November 2015, retrieved 6 May 2016
- "Enam picks up minority stake in Ronnie Screwvala-backed Arre", Money Control, 26 April 2016, retrieved 10 May 2016
- Sreelatha Menon (8 December 2012). "Come home to the Village". Business Standard. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- "Society to Heal Aid Restore Educate". Swades Foundation. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- "Unilazer Ventures Private Limited - Value Added Strategic Investor". Unilazer.com. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- "Tata backs pet portal DogSpot - Times of India". Retrieved 2016-07-28.
- "Ratan Tata backs animal lovers' portal DogSpot". www.vccircle.com. Retrieved 2016-07-28.
- Ghosh, Aparna (2013-12-11). "Zivame raises $6 million from Unilazer Ventures". Retrieved 2016-07-28.
- "Valyoo Tech raises Rs 53 cr from Unilazer, IDG". Retrieved 2016-07-28.
- "HDFC Bank, Niki.ai tie up for chatbot banking". Times of India. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- Ronnie Screwvala imdb