Saturday, March 4, 2017


KUALA LUMPUR — Mathavan A. Chandran’s instrumental role in injecting technology into forensic medicine is an inspiration to aspiring youths.
Born in Chellam estate in Ulu Tiram, Johor, Mathavan is the son of rubber tapper Chandran and his wife Letchumy.
“I looked like a Malay boy and my name was a challenge to pronounce so my schoolmates called me Mat. When I went to England, I became Matt,” said Mathavan in jest.
The third child among five siblings, he studied at SK Ulu Tiram as his parents were determined to ensure their children obtained sound education.
Mathavan and his four other brothers did not disappoint as they went on to make a name for themselves. But it was Mathavan who excelled in his own right.
“My dad died when he was 55 and my mum took charge as she ensured we continued studying,” said the 49-year-old father of two — national equestrian rider Praveen and Nashveen.
His wife Anu Soorya is also from Ulu Tiram.
“It was tough journey from my humble beginnings in an estate but I did not allow that to dampen my dreams to do well in life.”
Mathavan studied in Form Four at the English College (now known as Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar) as there was no science stream classes in Ulu Tiram.
“I was in the midst of rich children who spoke good English. Not wanting to be left out, I mastered the language,” he said.
He continued his studies at Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (UPM).
“My first trip to Kuala Lumpur was for Thaipusam in Batu Caves and my second was starting my university life in UPM. It was a culture shock … the bright neon lights and varsity life,” he said.
“But I managed to cope and graduate with a degree in biochemistry and chemistry.”
Mathavan had good bosses to thank as they had guided him well.
“My motto is simple — grab whatever opportunity that comes your way and make the best of it. Don’t take anything for granted and work hard for everything.”
Now chief executive officer/director of iGene Sdn. Bhd, Mathavan founded Infovalley in 2000 and held several positions. iGene was an initiative born out of Infovalley with offices in Malaysia, the United Kingdom and Australia.
iGene has broad interest in forensic medical sciences and technologies, continuously generating new ideas and translating them into meaningful technologies and services with high impact applications.
His current passion is finding a framework that will bring the best of management, science and technology in innovation and business value creation.
During his early working years, Mathavan served Metacorp Bhd as the research and development chemist in 1992 and held many other senior positions before being promoted to the position of factory manager.
Subsequently, he worked as the regional business manager (chemical sector) for Peregrine Direct Investment, Hong Kong.
During his tenure with Peregrine, he was based in a several cities serving Peregrine’s interest.
Mathavan received the “Inventor of the Year” award in 1995 for leading a team of scientists from Metacorp and Petronas Research and Scientific Services for research and development of a zinc-based catalyst for natural gas treatment.
“When I decided to go on my own, I used all the years of experience and wanted to achieve something more significant,” he said.
“That was a beginning of another long journey which eventually saw me develop the world’s first forensic medicine-specific end-to-end software solution covering crime scene documentation, investigation and reconstruction using software capabilities aptly named Digital Autopsy.
“Digital Autopsy is a new advancement in forensic medicine.
“It started in 2006 with research and development for two years before I managed to get grants from the Science and Technology Ministry for further research and development for integration, evaluation and publication of the enterprise software solution for crime scene documentation and post-mortem examination.
“I had my work mate Anu Sheela Themudu who later became my partner in the business and she handles human resource and administration.”
In 2009, Mathavan embarked on commercial development in the form of marketing and sales.
After developing the world’s first forensic medicine-specific software, the company set up the first Digital Autopsy facility at Hospital Kuala Lumpur in 2010.
It was the deployment of the first commercial solution on a turnkey contract basis at the Forensic Unit of the hospital.
The company was commissioned to set up similar facilities in the UK.
Another milestone for the company was the legal support from the UK High Court and passing of a law by the state of California in the United States in support of digital autopsy.
“We are all set to expand our commercial service especially in Malaysia,” he said.

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