In a heartfelt tribute, colleagues celebrate the life and impact of a cloud visionary.

Harish Grama, a beloved technologist who helped pioneer cloud computing, passed away in early December. 

An innovative thinker, Grama consistently championed the ways cloud could be a catalyst for transformation. He led Kyndryl’s Global Cloud practice, helping customers embark on their end-to-end cloud journeys and provide IT modernization and management services — from front-end advice to migration and modernization.

Before joining Kyndryl, Grama served as a software leader at IBM, where he oversaw the IBM Software lab in India and led development of IBM's cloud software. He later served as the global general manager for IBM Cloud after a stint as a Managing Director at JP Morgan Chase, where he brought the financial services organization into the Cloud era.

While Grama was known for his insights and contributions to the cloud market, he was also widely respected by peers for his genuine kindness and deep connections with customers and partners.

Here, colleagues, customers and partners talk about Grama’s inspirational leadership style, his steadfast commitment to his family and peers, and his ability to make everyone feel valued.

The Role Model

“Harish was the epitome of an empathetic role model for employees and customers. He served with trust and transparency every single day, and he was vital in shaping our company’s early culture and strategic vision. His fierce intellect, calm demeanor and kindness helped build the Cloud practice and our firm.” — Martin Schroeter, Chairman and CEO, Kyndryl

“Harish believed in Kyndryl's mission from the start. He was a dedicated and deeply respected leader who advocated for our customers and was one of the first to see cloud as a driver of business innovation. He was a friend and colleague to many at Kyndryl and left an indelible mark on the industry. We honor his memory with gratitude. He will be greatly missed.” — Elly Keinan, Group President, Kyndryl

“I got to know Harish when we were first delivering WebSphere for complex transaction processing at some of our largest clients. Harish was one of the experts we sent out to tune systems and ensure we were delivering on the client’s performance needs. His systems knowledge was outstanding. He was not only highly skilled in terms of technology but great with customers. Harish demonstrated strong management skills, and he moved up the executive ranks as a result of his knowledge and leadership. Harish always knew what he was talking about, and always knew what it would take to get a job done. He will be missed but also remembered as a valued member of our team at IBM.” — Steve Mills, former Senior Vice President of IBM and founder of IBM Software Group

“In an era where software development was important to enterprises, Harish Grama was a graceful leader and a visionary. He was an important contributor to making IBM Software a powerful force in the tech industry.” Samuel J. Palmisano, retired Chairman and CEO, IBM

"Harish Grama’s remarkable journey at IBM was marked not only by his pioneering leadership in software and cloud computing but also by his unwavering ethics and the genuine friendships he nurtured.  Having worked closely with him for over a decade, I witnessed firsthand his extraordinary ability to blend technical brilliance with compassionate leadership. We remember him as a visionary leader, a cherished colleague, and above all, a dear friend." — Arvind Krishna, Chairman and CEO, IBM

The Advocate

“I had the great fortune of joining Harish as an executive sponsor for the Women’s Enterprise Level Kyndryl Inclusion Network, which is a business resource group. His compassion, kindness, dedication and intelligence illuminated every facet of his work — be it on the business front or in advancing Kyndryl’s diversity and inclusion efforts, especially when it came to championing women in tech. Working alongside him was a true honor, and I couldn’t have asked for a more exceptional leader.” — Kris Lovejoy, Global Practice Leader, Security & Resiliency, Kyndryl

“Harish valued people above all else, always acting with integrity and giving a voice to all, regardless of level or role. He was a real advocate for women in technology, from speaking at women's events to mentoring and sponsoring women in their career development. He created teams that thrived because of his unique mix of intelligence, compassion and intuition.” — Tracy Bolot, Senior Vice President, Practice General Management, Kyndryl

The Gentle Giant

“Harish was kind, down to earth, intelligent and patient. He was a visionary. I knew I could always call him with a great idea — and he would not only get it, but he would help turn it into a business. He was more than a Kyndryl to me. He was my mentor, fierce supporter and motivator, my leader and my friend. I will miss his laughter, his guidance, his out-of-the-box thinking, his drive to break through the glass ceiling to do the right thing, his random connections to other females as a mentor or mentee and his love of people.” — Azi Handley, Vice President, Global Strategic Alliances, Kyndryl

“Harish was an extraordinary professional and an even better human. It’s a very rare combination, and I feel fortunate to have known him. His generous spirit will live on as we continue to honor him in all ways.” — Patti Lewis, Sr. Director, Global Systems Integrators, NVIDIA

“Harish was a true leader and the kindest of colleagues and collaborators, always jumping in to help whenever needed. He was ready to board a plane to fly around the world to meet with our customers and teams as needed. No distance was too far. He was a well-respected and sought-out thought leader on cloud modernization, bringing a vision and passion for the topic that was unmatched. I admired how he built Kyndryl’s Cloud practice from scratch and took the time to coach and mentor our teams across Kyndryl’s Strategic Markets and beyond. He believed in our mission, and he believed in our team.” — Xerxes Cooper, President, Strategic Markets, Kyndryl

“I hadn’t known Harish long, yet the few interactions we had were respectful, honest and genuine. He loved Kyndryl and was most passionate about its success, which resonated in his messaging. His sudden passing has robbed many of a kind soul.” — Doug Broadridge, Vice President, Global Alliances, ServiceNow

“In my interaction with Harish, what stood out most for me was his calm and kind demeanor, thoughtful outlook, and ability to quickly grasp the core theme of the conversation and provide insightful feedback. The Kyndryl team, customers and partners like Caveonix will undoubtedly miss his leadership and human touch.” Kaus Phaltankar, CEO and Co-Founder, Caveonix

“I met Harish at an IBM THINK event. He was early on in his new job but thought he had a high degree of ‘Gettingitness factor.’ But more important, he was humble and eager to learn what other people thought and knew. He made everyone around him feel important, valued and with something to contribute.” — Geoff Wing, Global Account Director, Broadcom

The Innovative Thinker

“During the short time Harish and I worked together, I was always amazed at how quickly we would land on areas of common interest and opportunities. He was very responsive in helping us address our pain points and crafting the path forward for a resolution. He helped me visualize the future and the art of the possible.” — Harry Pickett, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Co-operators

“Harish was a great technologist that could make complex things simple, a businessman with strong financial acumen and a compassionate leader with integrity in everything he did. This all came to life recently when we were discussing electric cars, and I obviously hit a passionate area for him as he shared a lot of great information (more than I could absorb) about the industry, trends and what to look for in a vehicle. It exemplified Harish — he was intellectually curious, studied the subject with passion and shared his insights in a way that others could understand.” — Dave Simpson, Senior Vice President, Cloud Practice Growth, Kyndryl

“Harish was a great mentor who only wanted the best for everyone around him. Always leading with empathy, Harish seamlessly blended profound technological insights with a keen understanding of people and business acumen. He inspired me to be a better version of myself every day. In honoring Harish’s memory, we will continue to build on the foundation he built — bringing unparalleled value to our customers, partners, fellow Kyndryls, extended families and the communities we touch. His legacy lives on in our collective pursuit of excellence.” — Anthony Dasari, Vice President, ModernOps & Public Cloud Services, Kyndryl

“Harish was a valued colleague. Inquisitive and engaging, he brought a unique perspective to our discussions and was always ready to dive in and discuss point-by-point. I admired his warm spirit and thoughtful nature, and I'm thankful I had the opportunity to work alongside Harish and learn from him.” — Michael Bradshaw, Chief Information Officer, Kyndryl

“It was easy to see his passion for driving change at Kyndryl from Day 1. I admired his steadfast vision and commitment to building our credibility in the market. His ability to challenge the teams to find the customer value beyond engineering serves as an inspirational guidepost and a perfect example of his indelible contribution to our team.” — Antoine Shagoury, Chief Technology Officer, Kyndryl

The Empathetic Leader

“I had the pleasure of working with Harish as a colleague at IBM and continued as partners at Kyndryl. A lovely, kind soul with a brilliant and creative intellect, Harish always provided leadership and the right guidance.” — Bridget E. Karlin, Senior Vice President, Kaiser Permanente

“Harish was one of those great and rare executives who made those around him feel comfortable and heard. He asked brilliant, strategic, yet seemingly simple, questions leading to answers and outcomes that were bought into because of how he engaged.” — Laurie Clough, Vice President, Hyperscalers Cloud Solutions Sales, VMware

“Harish was not only a friend and colleague to me, but to the entire Kyndryl family. I know he will be remembered by all for his incredible intelligence and business mindset, leaving an everlasting mark on our industry. For me, he will be remembered for the incredible person he was — a friend with an enormous heart filled with empathy and true care for every person he came across. I had the pleasure of working closely with Harish for a long time and no matter the time of day, or the subject, he was always there to support me and his team with his calm demeanor and thoughtful caring approach. He was a true gentleman with a brilliant mind.” — Petra Goude, Global Practice Leader, Core Enterprise and zCloud, Kyndryl

“Anyone who knew Harish Grama knew he was a visionary leader and a generous human being. I feel fortunate to have called him a friend. As I process the news of his passing, I am reminded about how much he cared deeply about his team and his colleagues. He was a role model to many, including me.” — Mark Slaga, Senior Vice President, Kyndryl

“Harish was a business partner that became a great friend. I am lucky to have known him and will cherish the good times we had together.” — Ajay Patel, Chief Operating Officer, Apptio

“Harish always had time for everyone. He was relentless in reaching out to people he knew when he was visiting their town. When he spoke to you, his mind was completely dedicated to you, and he would remember that discussion years later. He was very much a dedicated family man and would encourage everyone around him to take care of their families first. I lost my father earlier this year and, sure enough, I got a call from him when I reached my father’s place. He let me know that I should take the time I needed and checked in with me again a few days later. He was a fabulous human being — it was very easy for him to be a leader that I wanted to follow. Everyone around me today would echo that sentiment.” — Meenagi Venkat, Vice President, Kyndryl Consult, Cloud

Editor's Note: In lieu of flowers, the Grama family has requested that those who wish to make memorial contributions consider Habitat for Humanity. A direct link is available on Deed.