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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

Last updated on 18 June 2014 at 10:00.

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[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 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.

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 ]

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

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 ]

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[replacesinglequotehere]s television channels in India UTV group became listed on the Indian Stock Exchange in 2005. [ 9 ]

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, a lingerie e-store and 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 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 ]

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

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

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