Board of Directors

At the helm of Malvern International plc is a board of accomplished and distinguished professionals who keep quality education firmly as their key focus. Malvern International plc is privileged to have them on board to steer the vision and mission of educating young minds near and far with quality curricula, facilities and faculty and also will invest in prospects of students who have successfully completed their courses to enable them to look forward to a bright future.

Chairman
Mr. Gopinath Pillai

Chairman

Mr. Gopinath Pillai

Ambassador Gopinath Pillai is Ambassador-at-Large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Singapore’s Special Envoy to Andhra Pradesh. He is the Chairman of the Institute of South Asian Studies. He has served as Singapore’s Non-Resident Ambassador to Iran and Singapore’s High Commissioner to Pakistan.

Ambassador Pillai has varied business interests which include investments in education, logistics and information technology. He is the Chairman of Malvern International Plc, listed in AIM London, UK and Chairman of Playware Studios Pte Ltd, and EdTech company focused on game based learning and education.

Ambassador Pillai has received several awards, including the Friend of Labour (NTUC 1987); Meritorious Award (NTUC 1990); Friend of IT from Singapore Computer Society (2001); Distinguish Member of NUSS in 2011 and Outstanding Service Award (NUS 2015). The Singapore government has awarded Ambassador Pillai the Public Service Star Award (BBM) in 1999 and BBM (BAR) in the 2009 National Day Awards and The Meritorious Service Medal on National Day 2015.

The Indian government conferred the Padma Shri award on Ambassador Pillai at the 2012 Republic Day.

Deputy Chairman

Mr. Haider M Sithawalla

Sithawalla started his career in the Government service and rose to the position of Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Finance. While in the Government Service he served on Tourist Promotion Board (Year 1972 – 1974), Sentosa Development Corporation (Year 1974 – 1976) and a number of boards of companies in which the Singapore Government had equity interest.

Mr Sithawalla resigned from Government service in 1978 and joined ACMA Ltd, a public listed company, as its General Manager and later became its Managing Director. In 1994 he retired from ACMA Ltd and joined as Executive Director and a partner of KSP Investment Pte Ltd. He continues to be on the Board of a number of companies.

He is currently also Chairman of Warees Investments Pte Ltd, Jurong Health Fund, Education Trust Fund Committee of Mendaki and a member of Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation.

Mr Sithawalla also served as Singapore High Commissioner (Non-Resident) to Mauritius, Tanzania and Zimbabwe during the years 1994 to 2008. For his public service, Mr Sithawalla has received many awards, such as the MUIS Award Jasa Cemerlang (Outstanding Contributions to Muslim Community) in 2014, the Public Service Medal Award (PBM) in 1999, the Meritorious Service Award (NTUC) in 1990, the Rochdale Medal Award (National Co-Operative Federation Ltd) in 1984 and Friend of Labour Award (NTUC) in 1981.

Deputy Chairman
Mr. Haider M Sithawalla
Chief Executive Officer

Executive Director & CEO

Dr. Sam Malafeh

Sam Malafeh, PhD in Economics (The University of Auckland, New Zealand), is an innovative and results-driven leader in education focused on achieving exceptional results in highly competitive environments. Sam has a proven track record of building a strong team to deliver quality education. He is experienced in driving quality operations, processes, and customer service improvements while building partnerships with key business decision-makers. Sam is passionate about education and believes in empowering people, whether they are students, academics, colleagues or other individuals.

In his previous role as the Chief Executive Officer of a New Zealand education provider, Sam led the five schools operating in the group to offer education for employment and enterprise.The schools were repeatedly rated highly by New Zealand Qualifications Authority. They are known as schools with exceptional support to students, maintaining the integrity, high-quality delivery and high employment outcomes for graduates.

Dr Malafeh is delighted to be part of an international high performance company.  With the new strategy, Malvern International is improving its systems and processes, and teaming up with highly-qualified and experienced people to enhance the ultimate learning experience. As a Global Partner in Learning and Skills Development, Malvern International is responsible for empowering individuals to become leaders of workforces and industries of the future.

Non-Executive Director

Mr. Ramasamy Jayapal

Jayapal was the CEO of Malvern International plc during listing and subsequently the Finance Director before becoming Non-Executive Director of Malvern International plc. He has more than 30 years’ management experience of which 22 are in education.

Mr. Jayapal is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (FCCA) and the Fellow of the Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (FCPA).

Mr. Jayapal is one of the Founder Members and a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants (FIMC) and was its past president for a few years. He is currently the Deputy Chairman of a UK Accounting Group called McMillan Woods International and Chairman of Trace Capital Pte. Ltd., Singapore.

Non-Executive Director
Mr. Ramasamy Jayapal
Non-Executive Director
Mr. Nadir Ali Zafar

Non-Executive Director

Mr. Nadir Ali Zafar

Nadir Ali Zafar is Chief Operating Officer at Alef Education, an education technology company comprising leading education and technology experts who have joined forces to reimagine the future of learning. He was most recently based in Singapore as Director of Corporate Development at GEMS Education, the largest private operator of Kindergarten-to-grade-12 schools in the world. Prior to this, he worked with GEMS at their global headquarters in Dubai as Head of Special Projects in the CEO’s office. While in Dubai, Mr Zafar also served as President of the Singapore Business Council and on the executive committees of several other organizations.

Mr Zafar has had previous stints in the education sector. In 2004, he helped to bring Stanford University’s summer camps for gifted youths to Singapore, the first time these camps were held outside of the United States. In 2008, he contributed to the launch of the MBA programme at Singapore Management University.

Mr Zafar is a Singapore national and has a degree in business management from the Singapore Management University and an MBA from INSEAD

Non-Executive Director

Mr. Navin Khattar

Navin Khattar is an executive director with a global investment company and is principally focused on sourcing and managing its UK and European portfolio of private equity and property investments. He is a founder director of Eastleaf Ltd, a property development and investment firm focused on luxury housing in prime areas in the UK. Navin is a qualified solicitor of the Law Society of England & Wales and previously practised within the City of London, specialising in corporate finance. He holds an LLB (Hons) degree from the University of Bristol. His legal background and multi-industry experience affords him a broad commercial perspective. This benefits him in the numerous board positions he takes in investee companies in order to provide strategic advice and guidance in order to stimulate growth and help achieve each entity’s respective potential and goals.

Mr. Navin Khattar Malvern International Plc B of D
Non-Executive Director
Mr. Wee Hock Kee

Non-Executive Director

Mr. Wee Hock Kee

Wee Hock Kee is the Managing Partner of CG Board Asia Pacific providing learning and leadership development in governance, risk management and internal control (GRC). He graduated in 1985 with Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) from Emile Woolf College London and was qualified by Malaysian Institute of Accountant (MIA) as a chartered accountant 1989. He became the Chartered Fellow of Institute of Internal Audit (IIA) Malaysia in 2006. He is currently a Fellow Member ACCA, a Chartered Accountant with MIA and Chartered Fellow of IIA Malaysia

He has also obtained a Certified Risk Management Assurance (United States) in 2012. He began his career as Internal Audit in 1985 in Fraser & Neave before leaving in 1987 to join ICI Asia Pacific Group Internal Audit  where he hold the position of Regional Audit Manager. He left ICI in 1992 and was attached to Guinness Anchor Berhad in the same year. In 1994, he join Cycle & Carriage Singapore and spent two years working in the company as the Chief Internal Auditor of Group. He subsequently joined Karambunai Resorts Berhad and served as a Special Assistant to the Group CEO from year 1995 until 1998. With a span of 20 years, he rose to the position of Regional Audit Director in AstraZeneca Plc UK (AZ) for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa in mid-1998. As a part of AZ Group Internal Auditor global senior management team, he is responsible for developing and charting the Group’s governance strategy for SOX compliance in US.  He now consults on matters relating to corporate governance, risk management and internal control for PLCs.

He was the past President of IIA Malaysia and Asian Confederation of Institute of Internal Auditors and former board member of IIA Global. He was formerly a member of ACCA Malaysia’s Advisory and past Chairman of Internal Audit Working Group of MIA. He won the prestigious Malaysian Internal Audit Award for 2001 and was a speaker and chaired numerous international, regional and national conferences organised by professional bodies throughout the span of his career in internal audit. He was the Chairman of the 2011 IIA International Conference in KL. For the last three years he has been engaged by BURSA to conduct awareness and education for AC and board members on risk management and internal control assurance framework. He is a faculty member of NIEW/MINDA and has been involved in the women directors’ training since 2013. He is a current Research Fellow in HELP University. He was formerly an independent, non-executive director of a PLC, Ideal Jacobs Berhad. He was appointed as independent, non-executive director of a company in Sabah which has been listed in ACE listing in 2015. He is a faculty member of SIDC (training arm of Securities Commission of Malaysia) for their Capital Market Director Programme on Corporate Governance.  In July 2016, he was appointed by Ministry of Finance Malaysia as a board member of MIMOS Berhad.

non-executive director
Mr. Nirvana Chaudhary

Non-Executive Director

Mr. Nirvana Chaudhary

Nirvana Chaudhary, Managing Director of CG Corp Global, started working at institutes like Credit Suisse and American Express at the Age of 15. He was also working at Montys Restaurant as a waiter during his studies in London. Today CG Corp Global is a $2.5 Billion multinational headquartered in Nepal, with a portfolio of 136 companies and 76 brands spread over 30 different countries. Educated at Doon, Harrow and MIT/London Business School, Nirvana founded his own company CG Finco when he was 19. He became the Managing Director of the Chaudhary Group before reaching 30. He was elected Vice President of Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) in 2016. Today, CG Corp is a professionally driven group that is amongst the most admired and respected companies in the region. With a work force of nearly 12,000 employees it has made a massive imprint on Nepal’s business landscape, and is fast expanding in India, Asia, Europe and Africa as well. Chaudhary’s are the first and only Forbes Billionaire listed family in Nepal.

Nirvana is well-known for his diverse interests and ventures—as a philanthropist, artist, curator, musician, spiritual seeker, avid trekker and a former national squash player. The philanthropic arm of his group that he leads—Chaudhary Foundation—is busy building schools and homes for survivors of the April 2015 earthquake of Nepal. He’s opened Nepal’s largest spiritual institute and partnered with Bill & Melinda Gates on Health and Sanitation in Nepal. He is well known for his role in Social Impact Projects. He also runs his own private philanthropy initiative in the name of his parents.

Nirvana is a youth icon of Nepal and beyond. He is often sought by youth organizations, schools, universities and young entrepreneurs as a motivational speaker. He has authored several articles on leadership and management for prominent business magazines. He became the Chairman of ASSOCHAM Nepal Chapter and was nominated in the board of UN Business Advisory Council. He was also in the board of Cricket Association of Nepal. Lions Club International and Rotary International have recognized him with the President’s Award for Social Contribution.

Nirvana is also the Honorary Consul General of Maldives to Nepal. He has served as the Personal Advisor to the Minister of Industries, Government of Nepal. He has also held offices of various bilateral chamber of commerce and industry. He has been the Brand Ambassador of WWF Foundation, Founder of Himalayan Climate Change, the youngest Founder Member of Entrepreneur Organization Nepal Chapter, and Founder member of Young Presidents Organization. He has led a campaign on “Spirit of Entrepreneurship” and just been featured as the First Nepalese in CNBC’s Young Turks and Forbes NextGen Tycoons.

Nirvana has received numerous accolades and awards from various institutions and has been voted as the 50 Most Influential People in Nepal in 2011. He was awarded The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation award for Young Entrepreneur and Philanthropist in 2017. Nirvana has also been nominated on the Board of Trade for Ministry of Commerce, Government of Nepal.

Nirvana is married to Ashrayata and has a 1-year-old daughter, Araaya.