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Ronnie Screwvala: Cableman to UpGrad CEO | Shark Tank Judge


Ronnie Screwvala: Journey from UTV to UpGrad


Ronnie Screwvala, an Indian entrepreneur, film producer, and philanthropist, has significantly impacted various industries, from pioneering cable TV to establishing himself as a powerhouse in entertainment. His journey embodies vision, persistence, and social responsibility. With a net worth of $12,800 crores.

Renowned as a first-generation entrepreneur in India, an award-winning movie producer, and a notable philanthropist, Screwvala's influence extends beyond business. Recognized by Time Magazine and Esquire as one of the most influential people of the 21st century, his contributions to cinema, alongside his entrepreneurial feats, underscore his remarkable career and story.This blog will follow the newest Shark Tank judge's journey.



Ronnie Screwvala is an Indian entrepreneur who is widely recognized for his contributions to various industries. Here are some key details about him:

Name: Ronnie Screwvala

Profession: Entrepreneur, Film Producer

Date of Birth: September 8, 1962

Age: 61 years old (as of 2023)

College/University: Sydenham College of Commerce & Economics

Qualification: Bachelor's degree in Commerce

Country: India

Birthplace: Bombay, Maharashtra, India

Hometown: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Religion: Parsi

Marital Status: Married to Zarina Mehta

Famous as: Founder and CEO of UTV Group, Film Producer

Income: Net worth of $1.53 Billion (Rs.12,800 Crores)



Early Life and Education

Ronnie Screwvala, born on September 8, 1962, in Mumbai, India, grew up in a Parsi family. After attending Cathedral John Connon School, he pursued his education at Sydenham College in Mumbai. Even during his school days, Ronnie had a passion for theatre and performed in various plays as a hobby, including roles in "Death of a Salesman" and "Othello" by Shakespeare. His father worked for a British firm called J L Morrison and Smith & Nephew.

Despite his academic journey at Sydenham College of Commerce & Economics, While others pursued traditional careers, he traded textbooks for cable wires, becoming the first to offer organised cable TV and challenging the giants. This bold move was just the beginning of his extraordinary journey, one that would reshape the Indian entertainment industry.


Struggle Story: Cable Guy to Media Giant

The initial years of Ronnie’s career in the entertainment industry were filled with struggle. The cable TV business he established, Network, faced stiff competition from large, well-funded competitors. Despite the challenges, Ronnie’s determination and vision led him to push boundaries and expand the business into new territories.
From there, he built UTV, a massive media company that produced movies, shows, and games. He even teamed up with Disney to bring even more fun to India.
But Screwvala didn't just care about entertainment. He wanted to help others too. He started the Swades Foundation to improve life in rural villages. He became a mentor on Shark Tank India, inspiring young entrepreneurs to chase their dreams. He even created UpGrad, an online learning platform that helps people get the skills they need for today's jobs. And let's not forget U Sports, where he fostered the love of sports for many.
Ronnie Screwvala isn't just a successful businessman; he's someone who made a difference. He proves that anyone can start small, dream big, and use their success to help others. 


Here are some of his specific ventures

He co-founded UTV Software Communications in 1990, which produced iconic movies like "Rang De Basanti" and "Jodhaa Akbar."
He co-founded UpGrad, a leading online education platform offering upskilling courses.
He has invested in many promising startups through his venture capital firm Unilazer Ventures.
The Swades Foundation has impacted millions of people in rural India through initiatives in education, healthcare, and livelihood opportunities.



Role as a Shark Tank Judge

In the latest season, Ronnie Screwvala has joined as a judge on Shark Tank India 3. In a recent episode, the sharks were stunned by a startup revolutionising recycling, drawing comparisons to Shah Rukh Khan's character in Swades, a film produced by Ronnie. The founder pitched for funding, seeking Rs 75 lakhs for 1% equity. While Aman Gupta offered Rs 30 lakhs for 1% equity and Rs 45 lakhs as debt, Ronnie Screwvala countered with Rs 75 lakhs for 3% equity, sealing a deal with the founder. This season introduced six new sharks, including Ronnie, bringing fresh perspectives to the Tank.


For more insights into Shark Tank and its impact, Click Here to check out our detailed blog with over 55,000 views.


Investments and Net Worth:

Screwvala's investment interests cover a wide array of sectors, from e-commerce to artificial intelligence, showcasing his forward-looking mindset and dedication to fostering innovation. 
In 1990, Screwvala embarked on his career with a TV production company, starting with just Rs 37,500. He gradually expanded it into a media conglomerate. Later, Walt Disney acquired UTV for $454 million, rebranding it as Disney UTV. Presently, Ronnie Screwvala is both a co-founder and the chairperson of upGrad, valued at approximately $2.25 billion. Through RSVP, he has produced several successful films, including the blockbuster "Uri: The Surgical Strike," which earned over Rs 350 crore worldwide.
According to the Hurun India Rich List 2022, Ronnie Screwvala's combined net worth from all income sources is estimated to be around Rs. 12,800 crores. 



Ronnie Screwvala is a straight shooter. He says what he thinks, even if it goes against powerful people like big movie theatres (multiplexes). He believes everyone deserves a fair chance and has spoken out against unfair practices. This might raise some eyebrows, but it shows he cares about honesty and fairness in the business.




Films Produced/Co-Produced by Ronnie Screwvala:

  • Rang De Basanti (2006) - National Film 
  • Barfi! (2012) - Filmfare Award for Best Film
  • Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019)
  • Love per Square Foot (2018)
  • Karwaan (2018)
  • Kedarnath (2018)
  • Mission Majnu (2023)
  • Dhamaka (2021)
  • Ghost Stories (2020)
  • Lust Stories 1 & 2 (2018, 2023)
  • Tejas (2023)
  • Tumse Na Ho Payega (2023)
  • Sam Bahadur (2023)



Television Productions:

  • Shanti (1994–1998)
  • Sea-Hawks (1997–1998)
  • Hip Hip Hurray (1998–2001)
  • Shaka Laka Boom Boom (2000–2004)
  • Khichdi (2002–2004)
  • Shararat (2003–2007)
  • Shark Tank India (2024)


Awards and Achievements:

Ronnie Screwvala's achievements include:

  • Named on Esquire's List of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century
  • Ranked 78 among the 100 most influential people in the world on the Time 100 (2009)
  • Listed among 25 Asia's Most Powerful by Fortune Magazine
  • Titled the Jack Warner of India by Newsweek
  • Featured at cover page of Forbes magazine (Oct 2020 edition)
  • Nominated for BAFTA Award for Best Non-English Film for Rang De Basanti
  • Won Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment at National Film Awards (2007) for Rang De Basanti
  • Won Best Film by Filmfare Awards (2007, 2009, 2013) and IIFA Awards (2007, 2009, 2013) for various films.


Lessons from Ronnie Screwvala's Journey

Ronnie's story offers valuable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs and individuals alike. His journey highlights the importance of:

Vision and Persistence: Despite initial challenges, Ronnie never lost sight of his goals.

Innovation and Adaptability: He constantly evolved his businesses, embracing new technologies and trends.

Social Responsibility: Success comes with a responsibility to give back to society.

Lifelong Learning: Ronnie continues to explore new ventures and invest in the future.

Ronnie Screwvala's story is an inspiration not just for those in the media industry, but for anyone who dares to dream big, work hard, and make a positive impact on the world.


Did You Know?

Ronnie initially ventured into toothbrush manufacturing before getting into the media industry, where he achieved remarkable success. His hard work and adaptability enabled him to continually innovate and stay ahead of the curve, ultimately leading to his prosperity.




Ronnie Screwvala started small, with cable TV, but dreamed big. He built UTV, revolutionised entertainment, and became a media mogul. But he's more than that. He empowers communities, inspires entrepreneurs, and leaves a lasting mark on India. His story is simple: dream big, work hard, make a difference. Be like Ronnie.

Frequently Asked Questions


Ronnie Screwvala's net worth is $1.53 billion (₹12,800 crores), making him one of the wealthiest individuals in Bollywood.



Screwvala's investments span diverse sectors, including e-commerce, online education, sports ventures, and philanthropic initiatives like the Swades Foundation.



Ronnie Screwvala is an Indian entrepreneur, film producer, and philanthropist known for his significant contributions to various industries, including entertainment and media.


Ronnie Screwvala's net worth is $1.53 billion (₹12,800 crores), as of the latest estimates.


Ronnie Screwvala has invested in diverse sectors, including e-commerce, online education (such as UpGrad), sports ventures (like U Sports), and philanthropic initiatives (such as the Swades Foundation).

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