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Asking hard questions, and not doling out advice, is how Ronnie Screwvala likes to mentor

Ronnie Screwvala, Co-founder of upGrad, discussed his mentorship style and what startups should focus on at the Mumbai edition of TechSparks 2024.

Asking hard questions, and not doling out advice, is how Ronnie Screwvala likes to mentor

Thursday February 29, 2024 , 2 min Read

upGrad's co-founder, Ronnie Screwvala, said being asked tough questions has led to more personal revelations for him, as opposed to being advised, and this has now become his style of mentorship as well.

Tough questions often lead to 'why didn't I think of it' moments, remarked Screwvala, speaking at the Mumbai edition of TechSparks 2024.

Commenting on the priorities for startups in the growth phase, he contended that fundraising should be fifth on the list of priority tasks. The first four should be whatever the startup wants.

"Everyone needs to have their own lists and it needs to be very personal. But fundraising should not be the first or the focus," he said.

Batting for frugality, Screwvala argued that this forces people to become more innovative and use resources more optimally.

"If you have the right approach to things, the right resources will follow you," he said.

Screwvala, an Indian film producer and a first-generation entrepreneur, founded upGrad in 2015. The edtech startup offers courses for professionals in collaboration with top international and Indian universities.

He also founded UTV Software Communications (UTV), which has grown into a media conglomerate, as well as U Sports, which focuses on sports such as kabaddi, esports and football.

His venture capital firm, Unilazer Ventures, invests primarily in early-stage Indian startups, ranging from e-commerce to AI and agriculture.


Edited by Swetha Kannan