Last updated on 18 June 2014 at 10:00.
Rohinton Soli "Ronnie" Screwvala
is an Indian entrepreneur and social
. He was the founder and CEO of
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[replacesinglequotehere]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
He was also listed amongst 25 Asia’s Most Powerful by Fortune Magazine, titled the Jack Warner of India by
and named Entrepreneur of the year by Ernst & Young.
Screwvala was born in
in a Parsi family. His father was an executive at the
firms J L Morrison and Smith & Nephew. Screwvala studied at
Cathedral and John Connon School
Screwvala also had a keen interest in theatre while in school and acted in professional plays with Bombay theatre greats like Pearl and
. 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
. They live in
Breach Candy, South Mumbai
Screwvala started off as a local cable TV operator in Mumbai under the company Network in 1981.
At the time when there was only
, the state television provider, Network offered a three-hour video channel showing movies to some homes in Maker Towers in the affluent
area of Mumbai.
He also started producing advertisements and content for Doordarshan with serials like Lifeline and
Screwvala founded the
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
Channel in 2004 which was highly successful and become one of the leading children[replacesinglequotehere]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 partal and he is in the process of developing an e-shopping website for furniture as well.
Screwvala laid the foundation of Society to Heal Aid Restore Educate (SHARE) for rural development in
, 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.
Screwvala owns a private equity business called
The following is a list of films produced/ co-produced by Screwvala