Director Esmayeel Shroff is credited with directing films such as Agar... If (1977), Thodisi Bewafaii (1980), Ahista Ahista (1981), Dil... Akhir Dil Hai (1982), Love 86 (1986), Suryaa: An Awakening (1989), God and Gun (1995), Tarkieb (2000), and Thoda Tum Badlo Thoda Hum (2004).
Born S V Ismail on 3 February, 1957 in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, he is the son of gold merchant father Shroff Abdul Kareem and Maryam Bi.
A graduate in sound engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, he later moved to Mumbai to pursue his interest in film. Shroff worked as an assistant director to A Bhimsingh on Sadhu Aur Shaitaan (1968).
Shroff’s Agar…If starred Amol Palekar and Zarina Wahab in a suspense drama involving deceit, murder and blackmail. However, he became a known name with his directorial Thodisi Bewafaii, which was written by his brother Moin Uddin Shroff. The film became a commercial hit and also celebrated its golden jubilee in some cities. A family drama about misunderstandings and clashing egos, it starred Rajesh Khanna and Shabana Azmi in key roles.
His Ahista Ahista brought together Shammi Kapoor, Nanda, Padmini Kolhapure, Kunal Kapoor, and Girish Karnad in a film that explored the rocky love story of a courtesan’s daughter. The film was a remake of the Kannada film Gejje Pooje (1969). The music was the highlight of this film, with songs such as Kabhi kisi ko muqammal jahan nahin milta, Maana teri nazar mein, and Bin bulaaye hum chale aaye finding particular favour with audiences. Shroff’s God and Gun starred Raaj Kumar, Raj Babbar, Jackie Shroff and Gautami in pivotal roles; it was veteran actor Raaj Kumar's final film role before his death in 1996. With Love 86, Ismail Shroff explored a frothy romantic drama starring Tanuja, Govinda, Rohan Kapoor, Farha Naaz and Neelam. Among his more recent releases, Thoda Tum Badlo Thoda Hum starred Arya Babbar and Shriya Saran in a love-hate relationship between two teenagers.Ismail Shroff also wrote the screenplay for films Bulundi (1981) and Saal Solvan Chadya (1977).