“ The best way to handle crisis is to fast forward your worst case situation. Align yourself to that.”
He has established his presence in every media vertical from animation and gaming to film - making and distribution to TV production. He can be credited with many firsts, from pioneering India’s first cable TV operations to creating India’s first daily soaps. He introduced Home shopping and also adopted the modern studio approach of movie production in India.
An attempt to unravel the man who changed the face of Indian media…………………
Ronnie Screwvala is a self made man and an iconic figure in the networking ...view middle of the document...
When in school, Ronnie Screwvala tried his hands at acting. In his 20s, he 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. Ronnie’s theatre career ended when he stopped going for rehearsals to start his own toothbrush business.
Ronnie is married to Zarina who is also the co-founder and one of the business executives of UTV. The couple lives in the posh Breach Candy locality in Mumbai.
Mr. Ronnie Screwvala graduated in B.COM from HR College in Mumbai. He had an option to work i.e. to a job like most others of his age at that time. But Mr. Screwvala had different views; he dreamt big and had a clear vision for the same.
He had two options, either to do CA from the United Kingdom or seek a job. But he wanted to be an entrepreneur. Like other businesses this required initial investment. He was always keen about plays and theatre since childhood and also actively participated in plays & drama at school and college level. Hence was very certain that he wanted to enter the media and the entertainment industry.
Thus he started with an internship with an advertising agency as a copywriter. He wanted to gain some insights about the industry, first hand information that would help him start his business and direct industry exposure. He worked for twelve hours a day during his internship. He took part in many road shows and campaigns. He started to organize music shows where he faced a loss close to Rs. 50,000, which at that time was a huge sum. His mother bailed him out of this crisis though. Inspite of the loss of Rs.50000, he said “A key part of being successful is to always be in a position when you always have nothing to lose”.
When he was in early 20’s, he had once visited a factory in UK along with his father as an observer/ visitor. The factory disposes the machines every two years as they get obsolete. When Ronnie saw those two machines, he asked the company to give him a month to buy the machines. He later pitched those machines to Colgate. He later became the largest manufacturer of toothbrushes.
His real attempt to become an entrepreneur started with the being the first cable operator in India. He had taken many baby steps and grabbed opportunities along with his education to enter the media industry.
Like most business capitalists Ronnie also commenced his career by setting up a cable TV networking company in Mumbai, the firm was established in 1981. It started out as a cable network that provided only three hours of uninterrupted viewing of films by means of a cable service. The service was exclusively restricted to homes that were situated in an affluent locality known as Cuffe Parade, for a nominal monthly fee of Rs. 200.
Ronnie Screwvala once said in an interview, “ People back then didn’t know the concept of a TV remote control (because there was only...