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Rohinton Soli "Ronnie" Screwvala is an Indian entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the cofounder of UpGrad,[2] 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).

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

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).[3] He was also listed amongst 25 Asia’s Most Powerful by Fortune Magazine, titled the Jack Warner of India by Newsweek,[4] 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.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Screwvala is married to Zarina Mehta, his second marriage.[6] They live in Breach Candy, South Mumbai.[7] 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.[5]

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.[8]



Screwvala started off as a local cable TV operator in Mumbai under the company Network in 1981.[5] 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.[9] He also started producing advertisements and content for Doordarshan with serials like Lifeline and Shanti.[10]

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.[10] 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.[11]

Other venturesEdit

Screwvala already holds a 40 percent stake in INI farms and aims to produce premium farm products. His e-commerce ventures include, a lingerie e-store and lenskart ( 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.[12]


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.[13][14] The subscription- and branded content-based startup produces and publishes videos, audio series, web series, documentaries, and doodles through its online channel.[15] However, in April 2016, Screwvala left the venture after which Enam Group acquired his stake.[16]

RSVP ProductionsEdit

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.[17] 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.[18]



Screwvala laid the foundation of Society to Heal Aid Restore Educate (SHARE) for rural development in Maharashtra.[19]

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.[20]

On 30 September 2014, Screwvala was awarded the GQ Philanthropist of the Year for his work with Swades Foundation. [21]

Unilazer Ventures LtdEdit

Screwvala owns a private equity business called Unilazer Ventures Ltd.[22] Unilazer has invested in Dogspot, Zivame, Lenskart, Shopclues, among others.[23][24][25][26][27]


The following is a list of films produced/ co-produced by Screwvala[28]

Year Title
1998 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
2014 Naan Sigappu Manithan
2014 Sigaram Thodu
2014 Peter Gaya Kaam Se
2015 Yatchan
2018 Love per Square Foot



  1. ^ Humaira Ansari (27 September 2010). "This Parsi cook's secret lies in her grandma's recipes". DNA India. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Startup India learning programme now gets an official 'UpGrad'". Times of India. 28 September 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "Ronnie Screwvala". Esquire. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Ronnie Screwvala - The 2009 TIME 100 Finalists". TIME. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c Rahul Bhatia (1 June 2012). "The Interpreter". The Caravan. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  6. ^ James Crabtree (28 June 2013). "At home: Ronnie Screwvala". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  7. ^ Shirin Kumaana-Wadia (25 June 2008). "Ronnie Screwvala: Bollywood to Hollywood". Parsi Khabar. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  8. ^ Ira Gudal (7 September 2015). "Ronnie Screwvala - The disruptive entrepreneur". Mint. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Behind Ronnie Screwvala's Rs 2,000-cr Walt Disney deal". Business Today. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Ronnie Screwvala Biography". I Love India. 
  11. ^ Shailendra Awasthi (1 September 2014). "Jaipur Pink Panthers beat U Mumba to win Pro Kabaddi title". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  12. ^ Madhav Chanchani (24 July 2015). "Ronnie Screwvala's online education venture UpGrad is launching a course in entrepreneurship". ET Chandigarh. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  13. ^ Choudhary, Vidhi (22 October 2015), Will Ronnie Screwvala’s bold new bet with Arré pay off?, Livemint, retrieved 6 May 2016 
  14. ^ "Arré", Arré, January 2016, retrieved 6 May 2016 
  15. ^ Arre' to Launch India's First Digital Reality Series, Business Wire India, 2 November 2015, retrieved 6 May 2016 
  16. ^ "Enam picks up minority stake in Ronnie Screwvala-backed Arre", Money Control, 26 April 2016, retrieved 10 May 2016 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Sreelatha Menon (8 December 2012). "Come home to the Village". Business Standard. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  20. ^ "Society to Heal Aid Restore Educate". Swades Foundation. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Unilazer Ventures Private Limited - Value Added Strategic Investor". Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  23. ^ "Tata backs pet portal DogSpot - Times of India". Retrieved 2016-07-28. 
  24. ^ "Ratan Tata backs animal lovers' portal DogSpot". Retrieved 2016-07-28. 
  25. ^ Ghosh, Aparna (2013-12-11). "Zivame raises $6 million from Unilazer Ventures". Retrieved 2016-07-28. 
  26. ^ "Valyoo Tech raises Rs 53 cr from Unilazer, IDG". Retrieved 2016-07-28. 
  27. ^ "HDFC Bank, tie up for chatbot banking". Times of India. Retrieved 23 January 2017. 
  28. ^ Ronnie Screwvala imdb