Kumar Malavalli is a widely revered technology entrepreneur. He has given back to society through his large contributions in the education and healthcare sectors in India and to his adopted homeland, USA. Apart from his economic contributions, he’s set an example in selflessness through his philanthropic measures.
His Early Life and Education
Kumar Malavalli was born on the 9th of February 1943 in Malavalli village in Karnataka’s Mandya District. His parents, M.S Narayanaswamy and Indiramma Narayanaswamy, brought up their three sons with middle class values.
Kumar was academically inclined like his two brothers and attended the National Institute of Engineering at Mysore. He graduated with two degrees – in Engineering and Physics. It is worthwhile mentioning that this institution was the alma mater of another IT visionary and entrepreneur, N R Narayana Murthy.
His Further Studies and Career
In 1971, Kumar moved to Dusseldorf, Germany‘s Institute of Engineering to pursue training in Advanced Industrial Electronics. In 1974, along with his wife and young daughter, he migrated to Canada in order to pursue new opportunities in his chosen field – Information Technology.
Kumar worked in Hewlett Packard for over a period of nearly 20 years before launching himself as a serial entrepreneur. He is often acknowledged as the prime force behind an evolutionary technology termed Fibre Channel. This technology enabled improvisation in storage networks.
He set up Brocade Communications in 1995 and was associated with the company for five years. The company went from success to success and led to Malavalli’s induction into Silicon Valley Engineering Council’s Hall of Fame in 2003. This was a remarkable achievement for a first generation immigrant and entrepreneur.
His Roles and Positions
- Over the years, Malavalli was associated with many start-ups. Positions held by him include:
- Co-founder and former Chief Technical Officer of Brocade Communications (1995-2000)
- Co-founder, Chairman and CSO of InMage Systems
- CSO of LeadFormix
- Chairman of the ANSI INCITS T11 Technical Committee
- Chairman of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA )
- Co-founder of Orchesy Inc
- Chief Strategy Officer of data protection specialist InMage Systems (2002)
- Chairman of leading edge data security solution provider CryptoMill Technologies
Malavalli invested in companies providing event based recovery and continuous data protection services. He has been associated with many Silicon Valley start-ups by Indian entrepreneurs, providing them with the benefit of his vision, leadership skills and experience.
He continues to mentor many start-up companies in the Silicon Valley and his extensive experience in the field of information technology, especially in Nanotechnology, Cloud Computing. Tele Medicine and Business Analytics have made him a person held in high regard by the IT sector.
Continuing his many contributions to society, Kumar Malavalli set up an Endowed Professorship Chair at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is a philanthropist who has donated millions of dollars both in the US and in his motherland, India, towards building institutions that cater to education, medical care and social development. His contributions have been to the following institutions:
- The American India Foundation
- The India Community Centre in the San Francisco Bay Area
- UC Santa Cruz
- Cal State – E. Bay
- Indus International Schools