Shyamal Kumar: Pioneering a New Era in Technology Leadership

Shyamal Kumar: Pioneering a New Era in Technology Leadership | The Enterprise World

Leadership is a multifaceted quality that requires a combination of various attributes, with fearlessness being crucial. The ability to confront challenges with resilience is what separates great leaders from ordinary leaders. A fearless leader inspires confidence in their team, creating an environment where innovation and creativity can thrive. Making bold decisions and taking calculated risks on the grounds of uncertainty are the qualities of such leadership. Ultimately, fearlessness is the driving force that moves everyone forward towards success.

Shyamal Kumar (Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lavelle Networks) is one such fearless leader who encourages his team to embrace challenges and view failures as opportunities. “I encourage people to face their fears and push them aside with courage — be fearless,” quotes Shyamal in a candid interview with The Enterprise World. His effective leadership combined with a team of the same passion created a tech revolution.

Journey towards Leadership Excellence

Shyamal Kumar is a graduate of BITS, Pilani, and has been in the data networking space for the last 18 years as a data networking product leader. He started his career with the venerable FreeBSD TCP/IP stack to the current SDN/NFV platforms. He has been instrumental in breakthrough product lines like the Juniper MX. Shyamal brought the initial generation of wireless broadband platforms worldwide through the Telsima WiMAX portfolio. In 2001, he was a key member of Inkra Networks, building the industry’s first virtual services switch.

Shyamal Kumar has led several products at Tata Elxsi, Juniper Networks, Inkra Networks, Telsima Communications, Riverstone Networks, NetContinuum, Versa Networks, and other companies. This remarkable journey has witnessed his passion for embracing SDN and cloud technologies to bring simplicity and performance to data networks. 

Procuring decades of experience as a data networking product leader, he crossed the threshold of his own achievements in innovation and technology. Shyamal founded Lavelle Networks in 2015 with a dream to create a software legacy and a passionate team that introduced SD-WAN products to the market.

Fulfilment of a Dream

At a coffee shop on Bangalore’s Lavelle Road, Shyamal Kumar had a symphony, perhaps a dream. He recalls this street as the birthplace of the Lavelle Networks, a spark fueled by the belief that every organization in India deserves a network that propels them forward. “We’re a group of people trying to make tech a little friendlier,” he adds. He is on a mission with a team of like-minded people to achieve a revolution in technology. 

Lavelle Networks is the biggest Make-In-India success in the enterprise networking sector. It has become the architect of tomorrow’s networks and the backbone of every enterprise. Lavelle impels a story of perseverance, passion, and the relentless pursuit of providing the best network experience. It achieves this by crafting networks that make enterprise networking seamless and reliable through the “ScaleAOn” SD-WAN solution. 

Shyamal Kumar has led the organization to build some of the world’s largest SD-in-WAN rollouts digital transformation projects in a record time of weeks. Its most recent collaboration with Airtel marks various verticals, including NaaS (Network as a Service), SASE, and network security. 

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Today, Lavelle is the largest SD-WAN network with over 15,000+ locations throughout India. 

Looking back at the past accomplishments, Shyamal Kumar adds “From a coffee shop idea to every corner of India, we’ve grown, stumbled, and laughed together. It’s not just a company; it’s a story, still unfolding.”

Redefining Leadership 

Shyamal’s leadership philosophy reflects patience and the pursuit of excellence. He believes fear is a challenge, meant to be faced and conquered with courage. Fearlessness becomes the heartbeat of Lavelle Networks, resonating through a culture where each team member plays a part in propelling the organization and fostering individual growth.

His approach to identifying and developing talent is another cornerstone for progress. He prioritizes hiring individuals whose values align with the core values and vision. His mentorship transcends conventional guidance. It involves sharing stories, instilling fearlessness, learning collectively, and cultivating an environment where daily growth for everyone is the ultimate objective. In areas of risk-taking and decision-making, Shyamal Kumar views risks as stepping stones to something greater. Under his leadership, risks cease to become the catalysts that propel the organization toward achievements.

Encountering Challenges to Fulfil a Dream 

Addressing the obstacles in creating a software legacy from scratch, Shyamal Kumar recalls, “They made us who we are.” Lavelle encountered challenges in the establishment of the start-up and forming a dependable team. However, competing with multi-million dollar giants without the same firepower seemed to be the toughest one. Shyamal’s industry expertise and valuable experiences helped overcome these hurdles. 

Disrupting the traditional way of working is another challenge that cannot be overlooked. Shyamal Kumar believes disruption is not about breaking things but rather making them better. Hence, Lavelle Networks disrupts the traditional way of working by simplifying it. Instead of complex hardware operations, it provides a network that adapts effortlessly to software, a simple, secure, and scalable solution. Dealing with these challenges ultimately helped to shape the company’s character and define the organizational essence.

A Balance between Innovations and Risks 

Placing the seed of innovation into the foundation of Lavelle Networks, Shyamal Kumar says, “Challenges are the stepping stones to greatness, and in each obstacle, we found the seeds of innovation.” However, his leadership circles around the combination of innovations and risks. He believes innovation must reside at your heart and risk in the head. Taking calculated risks with every measured step, boldly and steadily, is a fundamental quality of a leader. 

Finding the right balance between these two factors is the key to exponential growth. Once achieved, Lavelle’s technology seamlessly enhanced the enterprise experience by delivering flexible, scalable, and secure networks. Whether linking 10 or 10,000 locations, its products eliminated the challenges of deploying additional manpower and hardware operations. This combination of innovation and technology with calculated risks resulted in a dependable, efficient, and secure network experience with over 99% uptime. Accordingly, it has enabled enterprises to realize substantial cost reductions and a noteworthy increase in profitability.

One Step Ahead: Staying Competitive 

“Innovation is our compass, and staying competitive is about being agile. We prioritize continuous listening to our team, customers, and the market,” claims Shyamal Kumar. The organization’s approach involves regular feedback, quick adaptation to market changes, and understanding the needs of the customers to tackle competition and the continuous need for evolution.

It’s not just about following the trends but anticipating them and responding with flexible solutions, adds Shyamal. This type of culture encourages curiosity, embraces change, and sees challenges as opportunities for growth. Adapting to market needs, user preferences, and technological advancements are the factors that Lavelle uses to stay ahead of the curve. Customer feedback is crucial in guiding its product and service expansion, ensuring it meets evolving demands. Lavelle is not just another name in the market, as it is actively shaping the future of the network industry.

Driving Growth and Ensuring Success 

Positioned as the catalyst for growth, the organization responds to the pressing needs of Indian companies for faster and safer networks, providing enterprise networking solutions. Recently, it has onboarded a significant banking customer and swiftly transitioned a network of 10,000 locations online in just four weeks. Following the last year’s success, Airtel has also expanded its collaboration with Lavelle Networks. The organization attributes its enduring success to a commitment to delivering optimal network experiences, underlining innovation, concentrated customer support, and adapting to industry trends. These factors collectively have earned the trust of the Indian Enterprise market, solidifying Lavelle’s position in facilitating growth and achieving sustained success.


  1. “I have my stores connected on a Lavelle SD-WAN that has enabled me with deep insight into my network and application behavior in real time with cloud based management” Satyavrat Mishra, Head, IT & Infrastructure.
  1. “We have been extremely happy with Lavelle Networks SD-WAN solution. It has helped us in leveraging hybrid WAN transport which resulted in enhanced user experience in terms of improved application accessibility speed”Ritesh Mishra, AVP.
  1. “Lavelle Networks ScaleAOn SD-WAN has helped us in saving cost, always ON connectivity with near 100% up-time for each of the locations along with sufficient bandwidth.” – Irshad Saifi, AVP IT, Havells.
  1. “Bank’s customer experience has shown great improvement, it takes less time to service a customer at Lavelle Networks enabled branch. Also, ScaleAOn’s Dashboard has improved the visibility on WAN usage” – Rahil Patel, CIO, The Kalupur Commercial Co-operative Bank Ltd

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