Artifact Details


Rekhi, Kanwal oral history

Catalog Number



Moving image


Mr. Rekhi was born in Pakistan in 1945. He attended IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) in Bombay, where he studied math and electrical engineering. From there he went to the US to study at Michigan Tech.

He then went to work for a number of minicomputer companies, all of which had business problems, resulting in him being laid off three times. Moving to California, he went to work for Singer Link, where he got heavily into complex system design for digital aircraft simulators. After about 8 years, he decided he wanted to move into a non-defense related job and joined Zilog.

In less than a year, Rekhi understood the power of networking, which was an evolving technology at that time. To meet that opportunity, he and two co-founders started Excelan. The company was quite successful and went public in February 1987. In 1990, Rekhi merged the company with Novell. He took a senior management position within Novell, but he left in 1995 after multiple disagreements on company strategy.

Kanwal was a co-founder of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs), an organization founded by Indian/Pakistani entrepreneurs who had done well and were looking for ways to help other entrepeneurs like themselves. They wanted to offer education, mentoring, psychological support … and eventually investment in some cases. This organization has grown to become worldwide, with chapters in dozens of countries. While describing the founding and evolution of TiE, Kanwal is very open and frank about his own self doubts and development of a model of working with entrepreneurs that works for him.




Hancock, Marguerite Gong, Interviewer
Katz, Jeff, Interviewer
Rakhi, Kanwal, Interviewee


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, CA






Oral history

Collection Title

CHM Oral History Collection


Computer History Museum

Lot Number


Related Records

102738694 Rekhi, Kanwal oral history