HR fraternity loses valuable members to COVID

Mali Mahalingam, former VP-HR, IBM India, and Satish J Kurpad, GM – HR, Velocis, have passed away fighting the dreaded disease


Mali Mahalingam, a senior HR leader and former VP-HR at IBM India, has passed away on May 6. He had been battling COVID for almost a month now. Satish J Kurpad, general manager – HR, Velocis, also passed on the same day fighting the dreaded coronavirus.

Mahalingam had 30 years of corporate experience as an HR leader. For over eight years, he had worked as HR advisor and executive coach collaborating with clients in their leadership development programmes and offering executive coaching.

He was, earlier, EVP and global chief people officer at Symphony Teleca Corporation for over eight years. He successfully headed the global HR functions across 20 countries, and managed the acquisitions and integration of at least a dozen small and medium companies. In addition, he also shouldered the responsibility of managing the Company’s innovation programme.

He had moved to Symphony from IBM India, where he was heading HR and was a member of the India/SA leadership team, handling the people’s function in its entirety.

Earlier in his career, he has worked with Scandent Solutions as group vice president – human resources. He had moved to Scandent in 2002, from Hewlett Packard India, where he was vice president and country manager – human resources.

Other roles he held during his chequered career were that of director – HR, Philips Software Centre and head-HR, ING Vysya Bank.

He is fondly remembered by the HR fraternity as a very generous man.

Prabhakar Lingareddy, executive VP – HR (agri-business division), ITC, remembers him as an ever-smiling person who was always ready to ‘give’. His “positive energy was contagious” and managed to charge everyone who interacted with him.

Academicians remember this alumnus of the University of Madras as a very humble person who was full of respect for academicians. Others from the HR domain recall him as a great “friend, coach and mentor”.

Satish J Kurpad, who worked for Velocis Systems for almost 14 years, was known for his sincerity, diligence and keen interest in the CSR activities of the organisation. Before joining Velocis, he was manager – human resources, at Primus Telecommunications Canada from 2002 to 2007. He is fondly remembered as a very sensitive and generous individual, who gave priority to his official commitments at all times.

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