Rupa & Co
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In dream with your eyes open, first-generation entrepreneur and UTV - founder Ronnie Screwvala details his vast experiences and the myriad lessons learnt from more than two decades of building some successful (And some not-so-successful) businesses, bringing clarity to a quickly changing business landscape and making an impassioned case for the role of entrepreneurship in India's future.
If youve ever had an impactful, disruptive product or business idea, been curious about owning your own business, or have already taken the first steps on your entrepreneurial journey, this is the book for you.
If youve been running your own company for the last seven-odd years and scale, brand and value-creation are some of the crossroads for you now, keep reading.
If you think your parents or family would freak out if you dared to suggest ditching your safe haven - your professional job - to pursue your dreams of owning your own business, relax. Better yet, share this book with them.
If youre an experienced professional ready to take the plunge into starting your own business or committed to growing into an effective leader in the company you work for, read on.
This book hopes to demystify failure, inspire success, raise ambitions and help you think big.
Dream with your eyes open shares failures and triumphs, thoughts and anecdotes in a simple narrative that could help you gain better insights into entrepreneurship and give you a fighting chance when it comes to realizing your dreams in a David - versus - Goliath world. Only then will we succeed in harnessing the countrys enormous entrepreneurial potential with the most energetic and passionate people in the world, alive with fresh mindsets, optimism and hope.
This book is about 'it can be done', not 'I did it'. Its all possible. Just dream your own dream-and when you do, dream with your eyes open.
Written by first-generation entrepreneur and pioneer of the media industry in India, Ronnie Screwvala, this book is an insiders account of what it takes to start, build and scale businesses in India.
The book is replete with real-life incidents and behind-the-scenes anecdotes from his career that include building one the largest toothbrush manufacturing operations in India, pioneering cable TV and bringing home shopping to the country and creating one of India's most innovative and diversified media entertainment companies - one that gave the country its first daily soap, Shanti and breakout channels like Hungama and Bindass, as well as a movie studio that boasts films like Rang De Basanti, Dev.D, Jodha Akbar and Barfi. Ronnie brings to life the basic tenants of leadership, taking risks, building scale, finding the right idea and knowing when to back it and when to exit.
This book also comes with a Q & A, where Ronnie Screwvala gives practical answers to some of the industry's most burning questions about entrepreneurship.
Lucid and insightful, dream with your eyes open goes beyond a business book to become a compelling personal testament to the importance of following your dreams.
Entrepreneurship is about living life on your own terms. Time is short. Even with the right ideas, a tireless work ethic, the gift of the gab, a solid network, the ability to hire well, family support and funding - even with all those variables working in your favor - things can go sideways in the blink of an eye. There are no guarantees in business or life.
Entrepreneurs face extraordinary challenges every day. Maybe your product or service didn't find the massive market you thought was out there. Maybe you ran out of money, didn't get the next round of investment or made one big bet and lost it all. Maybe the founders split or growth just dried up. In business, it seems, a whole lot more can go wrong than right. Success is never an accident and seldom occurs overnight, far from what the media sometimes writes when touting the next killer app or must-have product.
So what separates industry leaders from obituaries? Staying the course is a crucial, unsung, often thankless task that falls to the person in charge and the core team.
My experience tells me that value creation often comes from just lining up with everyone else at the start line.
Too often these days, I hear people say 'I need to do my research' and 'I am doing my homework' as dilatory tactics to put their dreams on hold. Research and homework are vital, but deep knowledge comes from doing, from getting your hands dirty and from asking the questions others are afraid or embarrassed to ask. Setting your laser sights on the goal and getting to work doesn,t allow insecurities or manufactured fears to get in the way of your dream. You can't let that happen. You won't let that happen.
Dreaming with your eyes open means being alert to challenges but refusing to let them stop you.
About the Author
From modest beginnings in Mumbai's Grant Road, surrounded by the energy and unbridled potential of a country always on the verge of greatness, Ronnie Screwvala is a first-generation entrepreneur.
His early days, in front of the camera and on stage, inspired him to pioneer cable TV in India and build one of the largest toothbrush manufacturing operations before starting UTV, a media and entertainment conglomerate spanning television, digital content, mobile, broadcasting, games and motion pictures, which he divested to the Walt Disney company in 2012.
Newsweek termed him the Jack Warner of India, Esquire rated him as one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century and Fortune as Asia's 25 most powerful.
On to his second innings, Ronnie is driven by his interest in championing entrepreneurship in India and is focused on building his next set of ground-up businesses in high growth and impact sectors. His more recent commitment to being a first mover in sports has made him lend his support to kabaddi and football.
He is passionate about social welfare and with his wife Zarina and through their Swades foundation, has given single-minded focus to empowering one million lives in rural India every 5 - 6 years through a unique 360-degree model.
He lives in Mumbai with Zarina and daughter Trishya.