About me

I’m JP Rangaswami. 59 years old, married (my wife’s called Shane), three children (Orla, Isaac and Hope), one grandchild (Eli).  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. Since 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.

184 thoughts on “About me”

  1. Hi JP,
    Just stumbled across your excellent blog! We met through Bundeep R. a few years back when you were at DK. Are you still in Windsor? I went off to do Skype, and lost touch with you. I’ve just started next internet telecoms startup in Datchet. Stop by anytime and catch up over a tea or coffee. I’d love to hear your feedback about the next communicator I’m building-
    http://www.pophongo.com
    rgds
    David J.

  2. Hullo JP – I too am from India though not Cal – I came across your “blog” by accident when I put in Chris Hupping, after I attended the AI International Day show in Sydney, Australia – and Chris was one of the entertainers – he was absolutely great by the way –

  3. Small world, Devi. Chris was around my age, so if he’s still entertaining at the 50+ plus stage he’s doing well. Say hi to him from me.

  4. Dear Mr. Rangaswami,

    I would be honored if you would like to consider sharing your vision on the future of work on our executive summit in Madrid ( October 16 & 17).

    Cio blogger of the year in Sweden will join, John Gray, professor on European thought (LSE), French top economist Daniel Cohen and others. Select international audience, great experience, interactive program … would be great to have you on the team.

    If you could contact me by email or respond here in the cloud.

    Menno van Doorn
    VP VINT
    Research Institute for the Analysis of New Technology of Sogeti Group
    co-author “Open for Business: open source inspiration for innovation” and “Me the Media: past, present and future of the third media revolution)

  5. Will do – and congrats by the way, it is good to see so many of my countrymen making their mark around the globe!!!
    Devi

  6. Hi JP
    We are doing a conference in Barcelona in April.
    Like to talk to you about a keynote opportunity.
    What is the best way to connect with you?

    Thanks

    Mike Healy
    Director of Conferences
    858-673-3042

  7. Hello JP

    Good Evening …

    Never got an oppurtunity to work closely with you still you are one of the two people who inspired me in BT …

    This is an amazing blog you have and everytime I visit it, I ask myself ‘How on earth he get so much time to multi task’ .. May be a tip or two from you can help me ..

    I have two questions for you:

    1. What is the significance of the title ‘Confused of Calcutta’.

    2. I came to UK at 24 (almost like you) and keen to know your thoughts on how UK has changed in last 25 years and how it will be when you are 75?

    regards
    Vaghul

  8. PS:

    After posting my previous comment, I guess your blog site didnt take care of ‘Daylight saving’ .. It is still one hour behind normal time.

  9. Vaghul, you ask questions that are unsuitable for short “comment-style” replies. I shall try and post a detailed response sometime soon. Regards, JP

  10. Hi JP,
    Yes, Indu, Jaya’s sis, Prema and Bakku’s kid… not so much a kid anymore! Anyway, have a buddy trolling around London and thought it might be fun for him to meet up with you. He’s an ex-googler trolling around for the next hot hot…idea.
    I can tell you more if you have the bandwidth.
    Otherwise, seems like you’re thriving.
    Me too!

  11. Namastey JP,

    I am Manoj from India and I was searching for new topic on Blog Search. Then I found your blog which was linked on some Gorgeous Lady’s blog I forgot her blog name but this blog catch my attention as its name is very interesting “Confusedofcalcutt” so I thought its a blog from Indian writer as its name. But that lady was foreigner so I thought this blog will be famous that’s why she has added your blog. So in this way I came on this blog and found its PR 6 which is very tuff to achieve as I am a SEO Analyst so I know it takes time and lots of effort to do that.
    Now I am going to add this blog on my blog because there are so many things which I found very interesting I am a learner so thanks for making such a nice blog.

    Thanks
    Manoj Salwani

  12. just wondering if you have heard of Hyperwords?
    hyperwords.net

    thought it might be something up your alley!

  13. Emma, thanks for that pointer, I hadn’t seen hyperwords. Looks very interesting. It didn’t install too cleanly though.

  14. Your Blog, informative and inspiring that it is, does boost the “inferiority complex” quotient of lesser readers (at least, one reader!). Listening to the high priests of high finance was a similar humbling experience – an acute sense of cerebral dwarfism. While I was not getting them, it now seems, neither did they. This is a real crisis of confidence, much larger than the financial crisis. Who does understand? Is there anyone?

  15. Dear Mr Rangaswami,
    Was directed here by a friend, and found we share the following: A stint in Calcutta (was with The Telegraph there for 8 long years); a love for “CSNY, Traffic, Grateful Dead, (I have some 120 Dead albums, some still on cassette :) Doobie Brothers, Joni Mitchell, The Band, America, The Who, The Beatles” …to which add New Riders of the Purple Sage, CCR, Ray Charles, Clapton and Knopfler, etc; and a love for words. May I have a few with you?
    best

    Ramananda Sengupta
    Chief Editor, Portals
    Sify.com
    Chennai

  16. Hi – looking on your site for Heston Blumenthals chiken Tikka Masala – cant find it. His TV programme is on here in South AFrica and I would love to make the dish. Can you help? Thanks, Michael

  17. Michael, I’ve sent you a pdf to your email account. If for any reason it gets filtered out, you can get to it by going to the comment by Dominic Sayers on the particular post you were reading on my blog. Dom provides a link to the pdf.

  18. Hi JP,

    We’re pleased to inform you that the WisconsInnovation blog created a link to “Confused of Calcutta”.

    WisconsInnovation is a group of graduate business students that enjoy exchanging ideas about innovation. We always welcome thought leaders like yourself to join our conversation.

    Keep up the great work with you blog!

    Best regards,

    WisconsInnovation

  19. Pingback: On passion
  20. Hi JP, I was wondering if you could help. I found your site when I was having a look online for any information about my father’s Anglo-Indian family, also from Calcutta. It seems his uncle taught you at school (Fr Cecil Leeming). You have a lovely photo of the teachers, including Cecil, on this post here http://confusedofcalcutta.com/2008/04/07/unintended-consequences/ and I was wondering whether it would be possible to have a copy. I’m really interested in finding out everything I can about the family’s time in India, as I am fairly obsessed with the country. As it happens I’m going to be in Calcutta for work next month – fourth visit to India.
    anyway, please let me know if it’s possible to dig it out. Cheers, Ciara

  21. Hi Ciara, Fr Leeming was definitely around when I was at St Xavier’s between 1966 and 1979, I remember him reasonably well. Let me have a word with my contemporaries and see what we can dig up. Regards JP

  22. J. P. Rangaswami – just found your page-Shakher Sagar has asked for Dilip Balakrishnan’s music, please inform all your friends that his music will be launched on the 4th. of April and wil be available at all music stores — the album is called ” HIGH AGAIN”

  23. Wow. I came across your blog rather randomly, but can’t help say ‘Hello’ after reading of an ex(?)-economist reading up Hardy and Ramanujan!

    (well, I am guilty of reading graduate economics myself.. I make up for that by doing a little math on the side..)

  24. Came across your blog from http://srirambala.com/?cat=6

    I like the blog title …

    Recently left Kolkata … within 3 months of work exp. …there

    I am bengali..but belive me the mid sized organizations there…………. just SUCK and they suck badly…

    Companies have no Corporate Culture…but have bad …. bad politics (the whole WB state is famous for it…) pathetic…experience.. I have worked in Delhi & Noida…and its learning all aorund …
    Kolkata city is dying of options…
    it seems to be cursed…after it lost being the Capital of the contry…

    Sorry all this doesn’t belong here may be..but just came out because of the lovely title that smells to me as if some one not liking the “City of Joy” from work or livelyhood prespective….only.

  25. hi,
    Personally i dont realy bother about what the blog is talking but i was interesed in the way the about me section was written. and that helped me in writing my about me. also i really liked the idea of the school, and sincerely i realy want that this dream of yours will b a reality.. hmm i think thats all..lol. hope that my words are a motivation for you..
    bye

  26. Hi,

    I’m the publisher of Desicritics.org, a leading online magazine on global South Asian issues. I’ve visited your site and find it to be quite interesting. I’d like to invite you to write for Desicritics. More information on being a Desicritic can be found here: http://desicritics.org/2006/01/25/205846.php

    Please let me know and I’ll set you up and send you posting guidelines, etc.

  27. I came across you through a blog of Chris Brogan, read this one blog and I am hooked, like opening the first page of a book and experiencing the delight of knowing that this is going to be a wonderful read. Looking forward to it. Thank you

  28. Hello
    just a few years behind you in St. Xavier’s school Calcutta ’81 and then college from Xavier’s college ’86. IT professional – means a vagabond with no home, live on project to project… in this country since 96 with a lot of classmates but over the years have left. Settled in Berkshire , Bracknell for last 9 years. I have met you at Green IT conference, was very impressed at your views. But never knew you are a Xaverian ………… Good to know a fellow school-mate.

  29. Hi JP It’s Sagar here again. Thanks to you and Rajan Advani for the info….I have managed to get hold of the album ‘High Again’, and so here I am listening to those great songs by Dilip Balakrishnan and High as I write this post. I am also arguing with my 11 year old boy about how it’s not cool to have song files stored on a laptop and that owning an LP is the REAL thing…….keep grooving everybody.

  30. Hi JP!
    I reached your blog on Christmas Day and I think it was just meant to be. Interestingly, I was tracking down on the web a man who quite literally changed my life – Tommy Vianna (he was my class teacher in 1966 in the corner classroom 8D, on the far end of the second floor), when I was directed to your blog. I learned unfortunately that he has passed on about 3 years ago.

    Apart from the common Xaverian experience, I think it is interesting that you also enjoy Jerry Garcia’s music.

    I could totally relate to your report on Fr. Bouche’s creative solutions to mundane problems. I was delighted in scanning the1969 group shot of the St. Xavier’s jesuits, thanks to your links. I knew almost all those faces. It brought back memories from forty years ago! Thanks for memorializing for posterity a part of our past.

    I live in New York city and while nearing retirement I was quite attracted to your School of Forever concept. What a marvelous goal to devote an entire life in planning for!
    I am a firm believer that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

    Peace and joy to you in all your endeavors!

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