In the ‘70s, Grant Road East was still the city’s thriving movie district, where red-carpet premieres were de rigueur.
This gave the 10-year-old-boy, who lived on the first floor of a five-storey building adjacent to Novelty Cinema, an opportunity to make a quick buck. He started selling tickets to the starry-eyed fans for a view of the actors walking the red carpet from the vantage point of his verandah. This was one of the first entrepreneurial successes of Ronnie Screwvala (pictured), who set up UTV Group, a media behemoth.
Dream with Your Eyes Open (Rupa; Rs 500), Screwvala’s first book, is peppered with a series of such anecdotes. The book will be available at bookstores from April 2 onwards.
Screwvala strongly advocates that the country should have more entrepreneurs. “Even today, 99 per cent of people don’t feel confident enough to start a business on their own,” he says. “I started from a lower middle-class background. People see you for what you are today and not how you started. It was important for me to give that perspective.”
While the book talks about his early theatre days and how his mother still prods him to return to stage, he does not see that happening anytime soon.