Ronnie Screwvala started as a cable operator in the 1980s, but he didn’t stop there. He went on to create UTV Motion Pictures, which he eventually sold to Walt Disney. Today, he has many different businesses, one of which is a film production company called RSVP Movies.
Ronnie Screwvala is a well-known film producer, but he didn’t start out that way. He was born with the name Rohinton Soli Screwvala and he was the first person to bring cable television to India in the early 1980s. Later on, in 1990, he started a big entertainment company called UTV. Besides his work in the media industry, Ronnie is also a “serial entrepreneur” – which means he has started lots of different companies. Let’s learn more about his story!
Back in the early 1980s, Ronnie Screwvala started a company called Lazer Brushes. It made toothbrushes, and it became the biggest toothbrush manufacturer in India. Then, in 1981, he began a cable TV service called Network. He put video machines in the basements of tall buildings in Mumbai so people could watch TV.
Ronnie Screwvala began UTV as a small company that made TV shows back in 1990. He started it with only Rs 37,500. But over time, UTV became much bigger and turned into a big group of media companies. One of the most famous parts of UTV was a film studio called UTV Motion Pictures. It paid for many movies that won big awards in India, such as Rang De Basanti, Swades, Khosla Ka Ghosla, A Wednesday!, Haider, and Barfi!.
In 2012, a big company called Walt Disney bought UTV for a lot of money – $454 million! After that, UTV became known as Disney UTV. Ronnie Screwvala, who owned 23% of the company, sold all his shares and left in 2014. Then, in 2022, the UTV name was stopped being used.
Today, Ronnie Screwvala does a lot of different things. He helped start a company called upGrad, which helps people learn online. This company is worth a lot of money – $2.25 billion! Ronnie also has a private company called Unilazer Ventures. This company invests in many small startup companies. Besides that, he owns a sports business called USports and a not-for-profit company called the Swades Foundation.
In 2014, Ronnie Screwvala started making movies again with his new company, RSVP Movies. This company has made a lot of really good movies that people have liked a lot, such as Karwaan, Sonchiriya, Raat Akeli Hai, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, and The Sky Is Pink. One of RSVP Movies’ most popular movies is called Uri: The Surgical Strike. It starred Vicky Kaushal and made over Rs 350 crore all around the world!
Ronnie Screwvala is very important and famous. He has been named one of the most important people of this century by a magazine called Esquire. He was also on a list of the 100 most important people in the world by a magazine called Time. That was in 2009. Today, he is very rich. A company called Hurun made a list of rich people in India and Ronnie’s money is worth Rs 12,800 crore according to that list.