Malik Ambar was an Ethiopian and had been brought to India as a slave.
This able slave rose to prominence between 1607 to 1626, when he was regent of the Nijamshahis of the Ahamednagar. He increased the strength of Murtuza Nizam Shah and established a new city at the site of an old village Khadki in Maharashtra, which is known as Aurangabad today. The name was changed to Aurangabad later by Aurangzeb.
The Guerilla warfare for which the Marathas are best known was pioneered by Malik Ambar.
He was also the mobilizing force behind the Marathas, the farmers turned into great warriors by Malik Ambar.
Malik Ambar, the formidable Habshi repeatedly routed the imperial armies and recovered Ahamednagar. The forces of Prince Khurram had drove them back to Khandesh but this tactful general created a Maratha cavalry which later culminated in the Great Maratha Kingdom under the nose of Aurangzeb.
But Prince Khurram had shown him his mettle. He arrived in 1616 in Deccan and detached Bijapur from the support of Ambar. He defeated Malik Ambar and made him a tributary vassal. After this, the Deccan province was entrusted to Parviz, brother of Khurram, who drank himself to death. The command of Deccan was given to General Khan Jahan. But Khan Jahan revolted soon after death of Jahangir in 1629 and was killed in Bundelkhand a year later. In 1635, King Shah Jahan advanced in person and annexed Bijapur and Nijamshahis dominions. In 1655 Aurangzeb was given the viceroyalty of Deccan.