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“Race will be won by speed and vigour of execution”, Ronnie Screwvala, Founder-Chairman, UTV Group

Team YS
9th Feb 2011
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One of the biggest entrepreneurial success stories from India, Ronnie Screwvala is the man behind the media conglomerate UTV. In a talk recently at IIT Bombay, Ronnie shared some real insights and observations on entrepreneurship and business learnings. YourStory is happy to share the excerpts of his talk, read below and hope you find this as useful as we did-


On his journey and initial days -


When I started there was no substitute to Prasar Bharti , we launched first organized cable TV . We use to take TV sets to buildings and show Cable TV, people were not even aware that they could use remote control and choose to watch another channel. It was tough and we were converting a virtually non existing market. Every step we were creating something out of Nothing. It was about Concept Selling.There is a difference between pioneering and being before your time. We were creating something out of nothing and we could have horribly gone wrong for being before time. On the other hand the advantage of pioneering is you get a huge First Movers advantage , but the concern is that you can easily be before time - like we started Home Shopping very early , which was before time as then even the credit services had not picked up.


Power of Research - there are two types of research, one formal research that everybody is expected to do , but more than that give importance to informal research , be observant, be a good listener ,be curious, ask questions, no amount of research is going to guarantee a sure shot success, Google , Facebook, Ipad etc are not products of research , they are product of observations. Research, Observations and Gut Feeling is the recipe to generating a good idea.


Working with new mindset is better than changing mindset


As a policy UTV hires only people under 30. Rang de basanti (RDB)was a product of new mindset. 4Bhagat Singh movies had failed before RDB. In this, the track was constantly changing between flash back n present, the lead actress was a foreigner speaking accented hindi and all the actors die in the end . If you look at the checklist , this film would have never been made by traditional mindset , but we experimented and it was a success.


Think of scale: If you think of a venture think of scale. Anything you offer, see if you can be in the Top 3 and if you cannot narrow down your offering and now try to be in the Top 3.Thinking scale will raise your chances of succeeding.


Make Mistakes Go ahead and make mistakes, when I know we make mistakes I know we are active and working..mistakes are the biggest teachers.


What if? Always think of the down falls/ pitfalls etc. Think what’s the worst that can happen, and if you can bear the worst, go for it.

( Image Courtesy : UTV and hamaraphotos.com )

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