A Diamond cut invaluable by the Sands of Time – Ronnie Screwvala’s ingenuity is a treat for aspiring eyes, exemplified by the journey of upGrad.
People Who Inspire India (PWI) Education Iconic Awards 2021 | DKODING Media Inc. | Florida, USA: Pioneering Changemaker –Ambition, aspiration and a keen foresight to identify and disrupt – Rohinton Soli “Ronnie” Screwvala is one of the brightest entrepreneurial minds part of India Inc.’s success story in the past few decades. Screwvala has been a trailblazer from the offing, building India’s largest Media and Entertainment conglomerate UTV, which he eventually divested to Disney for $1.4 billion in 2012. Since then, the serial entrepreneur has been creating a diverse portfolio for himself spanning across Media & Entertainment, Social Sector, Private Equity Investment, and Education. One of Screwvala’s goals is to work with millions of rural Indians, to empower them to propel themselves out of poverty, via the non-profit The Swades Foundation.
Education Never Stops — Ronnie Screwvala’s upGrad Story
Incepted with the motto of “Lifelong Learning”, Screwvala, alongside his co-founders Mayank Kumar and Phalgun Kompalli, is empowering the economy with skills to tackle unforeseen challenges of the future, a problem exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Having upskilled more than 500,000 professionals in a short span of less than half a decade, upGrad is breaking barriers and disrupting the education ecosystem that usually grows at a snail’s pace.
upGrad is on a mission to make India the teaching capital of the world in its objective to upskill the billion-strong global workforces, leading from the forefront. The vision is to enable more “dynamic work environments” and “organizations of the future”. To reshape the culturally-cemented narrative that a person’s “education stops at a certain age or stage”.
- Since the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, upGrad’s platform has witnessed a 50 to 60 percent spike in learners over the last quarter, and registered robust year-on-year growth in 2020.
- A market leader in the Indian higher EdTech space, upGrad crossed 5 lakh learners in a span of less than five years.
- Recently, upGrad has been on the M&A course with an investment kitty of Rs 500 crore as it gears up for overseas expansion in the next couple of years.
- It acquired test-preparation firm The Gate Academy (TGA) in November, 2020 and then entered the recruitment segment with the acquisition of Rekrut India in December, 2020.
- As per Screwvala, upGrad is committed to transform the skillset of 1 million working professionals by 2026.
- Age: 64
- Years Active: 40
- Education: Cathedral and John Connon School, Sydenham College (both in Mumbai)
- Residence: South Mumbai, Maharashtra, IN
- Entrepreneurial Portfolio: Founder, UTV Conglomerate (sold to Walt Disney), Founder Trustee, Swades Foundation (Social Sector), Founder, Unilazer Ventures (PE Investment), Founder, RSVP Movies (Media and Entertainment, Co-founder and MD, upGrad (EdTech), Founder, U Sports (E-Sports)
- Books Authored: Dream with Your Eyes Open
Watch: How Ronnie Screwvala & upGrad are building Careers of Tomorrow
- Recognized amongst Esquire’s 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century.
- Ranked #78 among the Time 100 most influential people in the world, 2009.
- One of Fortune’s 25 Most Powerful people in Asia, 2011
- Titled “The Jack Warner of India” by Newsweek.
A serial entrepreneur is one who builds or buys something with a clear intent to sell it in time.Entrepreneurial Wisdom from Ronnie Screwvala, who, in his own words, failed at 4 and succeeded at 6 of his ventures as an entrepreneur.