About me

I’m JP Rangaswami. 57 years old, married (my wife’s called Shane), three children (Orla, Isaac and Hope). I was born in Calcutta and lived there for nearly half my life before emigrating to the UK in 1980. Much of that time was spent at St Xavier’s Collegiate School and College; I was there from 1966 to 1979. Originally an economist and financial journalist, I’ve been an accidental technologist for over three decades. I’ve spent most of my adult life working in that strange space where finance meets technology, for a number of very large firms. As of January 2015 I’m the Chief Data Officer at Deutsche Bank.

I’m passionate about the things that interest me. My family. My local church and community. A retarded hippie at heart, I listen primarily to music made in the mid sixties to early seventies. CSNY, Traffic, Grateful Dead, Doobie Brothers, Joni Mitchell, The Band, America, The Who, The Beatles, that sort of thing. I read voraciously and collect books as well, but only in specific genres. Detective fiction, as in Nero Wolfe. Caper fiction, as in Donald E Westlake. The Raj and Empire, as in Warren Hastings or Robert Clive. Mathematics as in Hardy or Ramanujan. Management as in Peter Drucker or Max de Pree. Information and Technology as in John Seely Brown. Humour as in Ogden Nash or PG Wodehouse.

I’m passionate about my profession(s), both planned and accidental. A Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a Fellow of the British Computer Society.

I’m passionate about work (!) , particularly with reference to how work is changing: the paradigms created by globalisation, disintermediation and the web; the implications of virtualisation, service orientation and commoditisation; why publishing and search and fulfilment and conversation are the only “applications” we may need; how telephony becoming software and the wireless internet interact with mobile devices; the terrors of poorly thought out IPR and DRM; the need to avoid walled gardens of my own making; how children now teach me about work; the socialising of information, how it creates value by being shared, how it is enriched, how it is corrupted. How information behaves and what I can learn from it.

I’m passionate about education. When I retire from normal work I will build a school. A school that is built for the 21st century, with the requisite connectivity, hardware and software infrastructure. A school that’s willing to borrow teachers rather than own them, as long as the teachers see what they do as their calling, their vocation. A school where students are encouraged to use the web in class, where critiquing the teacher is accepted. Where critiquing students is also accepted. Where the focus is on equality of opportunity rather than outcome; where diversity is celebrated. Where learning takes place. Which means mistakes get made. Where making mistakes is encouraged.

Ever since I read The Cluetrain Manifesto I have believed in the “markets are conversations” theme, and have had the good fortune to meet and spend time with the Cluetrain gang discussing their views and values. In fact they were kind enough to ask me to contribute a chapter to the 10th Anniversary Edition of the book.

Which naturally makes me passionate about opensource as well. In democratised innovation. In emergence theories a la Steven Johnson. None of which should surprise the reader, given that my thoughts on opensource were probably more driven by Jerry Garcia than by Raymond or Stallman or Torvalds et al.

170 thoughts on “About me”

  1. JP

    Have always been a keen follower of your blogs. I am not sure if you remember me from the Wipro days where you gave a great talk on cultural sensitivities. I am now with Infosys in London and was very keen to check your availability to address our sales team in FSI on innovation. The conference is on 21st and 22nd November at Greenwich. Would request if you could drop in an email on [email protected] and let me know. Would do cart wheels if you agree!!

  2. Hi JP, love reading your blog, lots of fond memories coming up! I am your age and also spent my youth in Calcutta – the most beautiful city in the world! Please keep on posting the pictures!
    Regards from Germany

  3. @Marcus now that’s going to take some explaining. How did someone like you turn up in Calcutta as a teenager? What were you doing there? And how long did you stay? I can only surmise that one of your parents was a diplomat stationed there, or an engineering advisor.

  4. Hi JP, would be very interested in chatting to you about your upcoming move to DB and how information is being collected by banks and the industry. Please contact me if you have any time to chat this week. Thanks! Spencer

  5. While trawling around the web looking for my name, I came across your blog and this lovely little piece you did on my tandoori recipe. It warms my heart to find such nice words said about the work I love doing. Thank you, JP!
    Victoria Granof

  6. Hi,

    I had not read all the blog, but liked what I read.
    You had nicely connected India globally.

    Calcutta is beauty indeed, as many Indian cities are.
    I had never been to Calcutta. Always want to visit. Live their for some time.

    I can only connect Calcutta with my son.
    His name is “Payeesh”. A friend of mine told me about this connection.

    Actually in Hindi “Pay” mean “Water” and “eesh” means “God”, as per the instructions of a priest me and my wife finalized this name. It also connects with Calcutta as it mean “Sweet rice pudding” or “Kheer” in Hindi.

    Lets connect and keep sharing the Indian Love across the globe.
    Cheers ….

    Rahul Nanda


  7. Dear JP

    Discovered your blog quite by accident…..this is Vijay, a cousin of your cousin(s) Jayanand & Rangi….fascinating stuff, always an enjoyable read….particulary intrigued about your project on CSR Sr., I remember reading one of the very last issues of “Indian Finance”, when I was at Vanderbilt University (!) in the US in the early 1980s….Does certainly bring back a lot of memories!

    I left India in 1990 and currently live in HK….have been in the banking industry (like yourself) for the last 30 years…I now work for a banking industry trade association in Asia, ASIFMA (whose sister institution in London is AFME – you might have possibly heard of/met them in regulatory/cyber/other contexts). WIll be sure to get in touch when I am next in London….

    And yes, I did briefly live in Calcutta in 1989-90, when I was with Citibank and did meet/get to know your other cousin Jaishree, Gian and the (very young) “Jiver”….. all those years ago!

    Look forward to staying in touch!

    Best, Vijay

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