Starting with a small cable TV network running a 3-hour video channel for the residents of Maker Towers in the plush Cuffe Parade area of Mumbai in the early 1980s, Ronnie Screwvala has come a long way. Today, the chairman of UTV Software Communications Ltd—his flagship company—leads a media and entertainment (M&E) business that clocked 148% growth in revenues to Rs434 crore and a 65% jump in profits, at Rs77 crore in 2007-08, over the previous year. UTV Software Communications is now trying to strengthen its position across five fast-growing verticals in the M&E space—films, broadcasting, gaming, Internet and television content. But Screwvala has stayed away from the frenzy that engulfed most of his rivals in the past two years. Even as they try to get a finger in every M&E pie, Screwvala goes about building his empire quite cautiously. He talks about his strategy of focusing only on the underserved or unserved gaps in the M&E business, the impact of the current slowdown on the industry and his own business and overall growth plans. Edited excerpts:
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