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In Conversation with Ms. Zarina Screwvala, Co-founder- Swades Foundation

By auther pic. CSRBOX

February 19, 2021

Zarina Screwvala is the co-founder of the Swades Foundation & works full time as its Managing Trustee & Director. The Swades Foundation operates with the single-minded focus of empowering rural India through holistic and sustainable growth using its unique 360-degree model. The foundation has 270full time staff serving 2000+ hamlets impacting over half a million people. Zarina was a co-founder of the media company UTV, where among other ventures, she created and launched several TV channels including Hungama, bindass& UTV Movies.

She is a member of the UN Women Business Sector Advisory Council (BSAC).  Zarina has a deep interest in philosophy and is a member of New Acropolis. 

In her conversation with Deepak Nanda from CSRBOX, she elaborates on the following questions:

1. What led to the inception of the Swades Foundation and how has it grown thereon to creating a unique 360-degree model of development?

2.  How has the focus shifted or widened in terms of thematic areas, demographics and geography that the organization serves?

3. Having been the founder-Director of UTV, one of India’s foremost media and entertainment conglomerates, where you led the creation and launch of leading broadcast brands including UTV Bindass, UTV Stars, UTV Action and Hungama TV in India and the children’s channel Astro Ceria in Indonesia & Malaysia, How does that experience mold into your current work at Swades?

4. Can you share some instances that reaffirmed your belief in the work that Swades is doing and challenged you to make sure you take it beyond?

5. The scale at which you are operating is commendable. How is it that you mobilize community volunteers for the same and build a sense of ownership to be able to impact as many lives as you do?

6. Lastly, how do you intend to bring together the best global practices, corporate thinking, and accountability, the highest standards of corporate governance to create a model of sustainable development?


Impact-Talk is a series of views and interviews of CSR heads, impact leaders and change-makers, addressing development challenges in India. If you have an impact-maker in your network, please suggest/share details at shilpi@csrbox

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