Manwani has more than 35 years of consumer product and global management experience and sits on the board of consumer electronic giant Whirlpool.
He also serves as the Non-executive Chairman of Hindustan Unilever Limited.
Welcoming Manwani to Qualcomm's board, board chairman Paul Jacobs said his "experience managing Unilever's global businesses, and particularly his expertise in emerging regions and consumer products, brings insights to Qualcomm's board as advances in wireless technologies enable new industries and geographies".
In his current role at Unilever, Manwani has global responsibility for all eight Unilever market clusters and is focused on driving future growth and tapping opportunities in emerging regions.
He is also a member of the Unilever Leadership Executive team, which comprises the company's top management.
Prior to this, he served as President, Asia, Africa, Middle East and Turkey since 2005, and the region was later extended to include Central and Eastern Europe, Unilever's largest and fastest growing region.
In 2004, Manwani was appointed President, Home and Personal Care portfolio in North America, where he focused on strengthening Unilever's competitive position in a key region.
Manwani, who is in his early fifties, joined Unilever in India in 1976 as a management trainee and has been with the company ever since in various senior roles across the world.
He also serves as director of The Economic Development Board, Singapore and member of the Executive Board of the Indian School of Business.
In 2012, Manwani was conferred the Public Service Medal (Friends of Singapore) by the Singapore Government.
In 2008, he received the CNBC Asia Business Leader of the Year award.
Manwani is an honors graduate and also holds a Master's degree in Management Studies, both from Mumbai University.
He also attended the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.