Influential Leaders

Madhavan Rangaswami

Madhavan (M.R.) Rangaswami

Kent State University, College of Business Administration

Technology

Madhavan (M.R.) Rangaswami obtained his undergraduate accounting degree in India and came to the United States for his MBA. Rangaswami is a globally recognized business expert, with experience as an executive, investor, entrepreneur, community builder, and philanthropist.

Rangaswami’s arrival in Silicon Valley, in 1982, marked the beginning of a career dedicated to solving the world’s biggest problems by promoting innovation. He held global VP of marketing positions at Oracle, Avalon Software, and Baan Company. When Baan went public, he exercised his stock options, enabling him to cofound Sand Hill Group in 1997. As an early “angel” investor in Silicon Valley, he passionately mentored successful IT startups. His capability to determine which firms had capacity to succeed as well as his hands-on work with startup principals created a new model for launching technology startups around the world.

With Sand Hill Group, Rangaswami’s work as an angel investment innovator has impacted the landscape of startup financing, fueling the growth of high-tech entrepreneurship. He was profiled on the front page of The Wall Street Journal and twice earned a spot in Forbes’ annual “Midas 100 List” of the most influential investors in technology. In 2004, his Sand Hill Group launched The Software Conference Series, which has annually brought together the biggest names in the IT industry to explore future changes in IT and their potential impact on the business community. His efforts have consistently inspired thought leadership, exploring with IT professionals the future of innovations, such as software as a service and cloud computing nearly a decade before they became integral to how business is conducted.

Rangaswami’s efforts in innovation also extend to the issue of climate change. In 2008, inspired by his interviews with more than 70 global business leaders, he founded the Corporate Eco Forum to create a neutral space where senior business leaders gather annually to strategize and exchange best-practice insights to accelerate sustainable business innovation. This organization has attracted business leaders from a diverse set of leading multinational companies. The organization’s website houses the CEF Weekly Eco Briefing, an e-newsletter that summarizes news on major corporate sustainability actions, ROI success stories, technology innovations, government policy updates, and NGO news.

Rangaswami has also had impact as an activist for social change. In 2011, he cohosted the NASSCOM Product Conclave, which brought together thousands of IT entrepreneurs and experts throughout India to teach them how to raise money and sell and market their products and services. To date, more than 5,000 entrepreneurs have gone through this annual program. To extend the reach of his efforts with the Indian community, in 2012, he founded Indiaspora, a nonprofit organization to support the wellbeing of Indians and Indian Americans and their movement to positions of influence across the world.

Rangaswami has been a powerful catalyst for global change. His leadership and collaborative initiatives have for decades profoundly impacted the business community, the environment, and society.