Ronnie Screwvala is a Parsi Indian film producer and CEO and founder chairman of 'UTV Group' (UTV Software Communications, UTVi, and UTV Motion Pictures) which recently partnered with Walt Disney,Fox Searchlight, Sony and Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment production company, expanding its global reach. He was born in Mumbai on 8th September 1956.
In September 2008, he was named amongst, Esquire's List of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century. In 2009 the Time 100 (annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world) compiled by Time magazine, he ranked at 78. Ronnie (Rohinton) Screwvala started his own career by launching the first organised cable TV venture in Mumbai, in June 1981. The network initially provided three hours of video channel service featuring movies broadcast via cable to homes in the Maker Towers in the posh Cuffe Parade, Mumbai at a monthly rate of Rs 200. Within a few years the network had subscribed thousands of households in the area. With the success of his cable network, he started producing advertisements, making films, and selling airtime on India's national network, Doordarshan (DD), which paved the way for production of TV serials. Screwvala produced India's daily soap operas in 1994 and eventually moved into films, animations and interactive programs (games). Two of the more famous television serials to his credit are Lifeline and Shanti. In 1990 Ronnie Screwvala founded UTV Software Communications and then moved into film production, movie distribution, family-oriented TV channels and, later, web content. After 2005 when UTV became a publicly traded company in on the Bombay Stock Exchange, it experienced rapid expansion over the ensuing three years.
In 1996, UTV moved into film distribution and then in 1997 Ronnie Screwvala produced the feature film Dil Ke Jharoke Main starring Manisha Koirala. In 2004, UTV made its first foray into distinctly Indian television programming with Hungama TV, a Hindi children's channel that faced two global giants Disney and Time Warner. The company acquired Japanese animation shows and produced local language show(s), moving to the No. 1 position in programming created for children. In February 2008, Disney's Southeast Asian subsidiary, doubled its stake in UTV from less than 15% to more than 30% and launched UTVi, an English business news channel.
Screwvala has been instrumental in building closer ties with Hollywood. He co-produced the Chris Rock comedy I Think I Love My Wife and M Night Shyamalan's The Happening. UTV backed Mira Nair's The Namesake, and the film grossed more cash in the USA than any other Indian production has earned abroad to date.
Screwvala lives with his wife Zarina who is a successful executive and co-founder of UTV. They live in Breach Candy, Mumbai.