Entrepreneur, director and philanthropist Ronnie Screwvala has penned a book on entrepreneurship, Dream With Your Eyes Open, and it's replete with inspirational anecdotes and learnings from his career spanning 25 years.
His experiences spanning cable television, toothbrush manufacturing, pioneering daily soaps and home shopping in India, to creating cutting edge TV and trend-setting movies, as he built an entertainment and media conglomerate, UTV, are for all to read and learn from.
Pioneering or disrupting has never stopped this man from pursuing his dreams, whether it was bringing cable TV to India at a time no one knew how to hold a remote in their hands, or building the studios model for movies in India.
The book, published by Rupa & Co., shares failures and triumphs in simple, comprehensible narrative that aims to inspire the youth to dream, and dream big. Indians are known to be resourceful and innately entrepreneurial but fearful of failure, and this is what Ronnie taps into.
"It is the growing spirit of entrepreneurship in India, coupled with a new wave of passion, optimism, aspiration and ambition, that inspired me to write," he says, adding, "Entrepreneurship is a journey, not an outing. You can't make a deal with yourself by saying, 'I'm going to try this out for two years and see'. You have to stay the course. Most Indians have a deep sense of fear of failure. I hope this book dispels that fear."
The message in the book is so relevant that PM Narendra Modi decided to comment on what it sets out to communicate. "I hope the book will encourage the youth of India to pursue their dreams, and in doing so, devote their energies to finding innovative ways to build better lives for millions of Indians," he says.
Supporting the book are strong messages from Ratan Tata, Nandan Nilekani, Mukesh Ambani, Anand Mahindra, Kishore Biyani and Uday Kotak, along the likes of media giants such as Bob Iger (CEO, Disney) and Rupert Murdoch (CEO, Fox).
"Businesses need to go beyond companies' interests to the communities they serve. I hope this book will inspire many to believe, and question how they impact others as they grow their companies," says Ratan Tata. Aspiring entrepreneurs will benefit hugely from this book, believes Mukesh Ambani,
"Ronnie is a first generation entrepreneur who I've admired for his energy, drive, passion and risk-taking ability."