Malavalli completed his graduation from National Institute of Engineering. He went to pursue his post- graduation in Industrial Electronics from Germany. He soon moved to Toronto, Canada and began his professional career with Canstar Communication. The company was later acquired by Hewlett-Packard and Malavalli became a part of the company. In the year 1195, he along with Paul Bonderson co-founded the company named Brocade Communication. He also served as the Chief Technical Officer of the company.
In the year 2001, Malavalli co-founded a Software Company named InMage. He was appointed the CEO of the company in the year 2011. He also co-founded another software company which was mostly a service provider named Glassbeam. He later became the chairperson of the company. There were several small and big companies which Malavalli was a part of and most of which he co-founded along with other associates. He is the first Indian to be inducted into the Silicon Valley Hall of Fame.
Malavalli is also a philanthropist and has donated generously to several causes. In India, he is associated with the Indus Trust which builds affordable schools for poor and middle-class children. He is also an integral part of TeleVital which supplies medicines to rural places and remote locations in India. He also donated 1 million dollars for the construction of the University of California. He is widely known for his philanthropy and has been honoured with the Immigrant Heritage Award in the year 2013.