Walt Disney India's Ronnie Screwvala decides to move on

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | October 24, 2013
Screwvala will step down on June 30, 2014 and Siddharth Roy Kapur, currently managing director of Disney UTV's studio's business, will take over the company's India operations. Effective January 1, Kapur will be the MD of The Walt Disney Company.

Ronnie Screwvala has decided to step down as the managing director of Disney UTV. His last day at the organisation will be June 30, 2014.

Disney UTV

Ronnie Screwvala

Andy Bird

Siddharth Roy Kapur

Screwvala is quitting the company to pursue his entrepreneurial goals in some of the impact sectors in India and devote more time with his foundation, SWADES.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, currently managing director of Disney UTV's studio's business, will take over the company's India operations. He will become the managing director of The Walt Disney Company India effective January 1 and Screwvala will assist in the transition until June 30.

Screwvala says, "It's been a fantastic seven-year working relationship with Disney. First as a co- shareholder, then when Disney held a majority stake in UTV, and since February 2012 as managing director of Disney UTV India. It has been a great experience to be part of the world's No.1 entertainment company and to have worked with such a talented team to solidify our footprint in India as a diversified and successful business across television, broadcasting, movies, consumer products, games and digital."

Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International, says, "I've had the pleasure of working with Ronnie for the past seven years and appreciate his entrepreneurial drive and vision for Disney in India. He has successfully managed integration efforts and set the foundations of long term growth for our business. In 2012 when we acquired UTV, Ronnie had a clear mandate to merge two organisations, build a single team and lay the strategic direction for a diversified media and entertainment company that would be part of the growing India growth story. When he passes on the baton in June 2014, almost two-and-half years since the acquisition, he will leave the company in a great place strategically and with a strong leadership team. I want to thank Ronnie for helping to shape Disney's journey in India and for his contribution to our success. We are delighted that he will continue to be associated with Disney in the future."

Meanwhile, on Roy Kapur's appointment, Bird mentions, "Sid has been an integral part of the Disney UTV family and brings to the role a diverse set of business and creative skills and a strong pulse on the Indian audience and consumers."

Roy Kapur started his career in brand management with Procter & Gamble and then worked with STAR TV in Hong Kong, Dubai and Mumbai in various leadership roles. His tenure at UTV and later at Disney UTV spans more than eight years, first as a member of the core team that launched the successful kids channel Hungama TV (which Disney bought in 2006) and then working closely with Screwvala to build UTV Motion Pictures, which he has headed since 2008.

"Sid's innate understanding of the Indian viewer, his ability to leverage those insights in business, coupled with his experience and expertise in fast-moving consumer goods businesses, television and in building India's leading movie studio made him the natural choice for the role. I look forward to working with Sid to take Disney UTV to its next level of growth in the years to come," adds Bird.

"Disney is one of the most admired media brands in the world and I see this as a great opportunity to work together with the incredible team we have at Disney UTV in India, to take our content and our brands to the next level of growth in one of the most dynamic media markets in the world," says Roy Kapur.

The combined Disney UTV entity today is built around five core brands: Disney, Marvel, UTV, Bindass and Hungama. It is a mix of a nine-broadcast-channel network with full local production capabilities; a movie studio producing in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam, and also building an audience for Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel movies in India.

"The Walt Disney Company is unique, as its business spans media and entertainment but at its core are the magical experiences it creates for the whole family. It owns the best intellectual properties and characters that appeal to people of all ages. The next decade will see the development of even more of the best home entertainment for Indian consumers, and Disney stands to solidify its position as India's first truly local and global family brand," Screwvala adds.

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