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.

182 thoughts on “About me”

  1. Hi JP,
    I am from Mumbai, India. I had chance to read your blog, thru my colleague. It is very interesting & gives headstart to face the 21st century. Excited about your dream of building School for future. May God fulfill your dream.
    I would like be in your network, kindly include my details in your list.
    V.Arul

  2. Hi JP,

    I am your fan in a way as I am in BTID ( through BT’s vendor, working for platform T&D presently ). Just went through your blog, and definitely would like to add it to my blog-role (personal and BT blog both) with your consent.

    Just wondering how an accidental technologist can be so successful in the Technology company. Want to learn a lot lot lot from you JP.

    Regards,
    Murli

  3. thank you tamanna, good spot. yes it has been plagiarised, but I prefer to think he is flattering me. i make no money from this blog, he doesn’t make any money from his. all he really needed to do was to acknowledge that he’d been influenced by me and all would be well.

  4. Hi there, is there a postal address at which you may receive mail? I would like to send you the latest report on International Agreements and why they fail,in the light of COP15 by our organization's founder, John Bunzl. The website is http://www.simpol.org if you are curious. Please let me know where I may send this small book. Best wishes, Diana Trimble, Editor, It's Simpol! Brighton, UK

  5. Hi Diana, please send it to:

    JP Rangaswami
    Chief Scientist
    BT Group PLC
    81 Newgate St
    London EC1A 7AJ

  6. Hi JP,
    Ure confused and usure………That sure as hell proves that ure a Bengali at heart…….lol! It was nice reading ure blog. Hope even Im able to do all this and much more by the time im 52. Are u still @ UK? Btw my mail id’s prome2k9@gmail.com………mail me if u ever wanna talk bout the one and only “City of Joy”. Ciao……….

  7. Hi JP, just spotted an excellent talk of yours at Reboot 17/09/ 2009 which has been featured on ‘Boxee’, the new media centre TV gadget! Quite a suprise.. keep it coming my frend

  8. Hi JP!
    You do not know me. I have just known you, and am I thrilled? Why is that so? More of that later (patience always pays). As a self intro, I am a Xaverian who passed out in 1962. And although I have passed out of my Alma Mater, my Alma Mater till today is inseparably welded to me, my ethos, my thoughts, my being….. Bye for now. Dipankar

  9. JP… CONGRATULATIONS…on your appt as chief scientist for CRM. Great news for them and for you. Also, thanx so much for attending the EI panel discussion on Platform Shifts. Your input was invaluable.

  10. Rangaswami

    Just read about your blog from ZDNet blog on you joining Salesforce. Congrads.

    For new comers like me to your blog, why dont’ you post your achievement in Tech space, as a Tech Visionary, Architect, Scientist, a brief one, would really help to understand your contribution to the industry. It’ll be really helpful for ppl like us came to know about you recently to catch up with others who might’ be following you for quite long time, know your achievements in this space.

    regards
    jinishans

  11. JP,

    I too am an ex Xaverian (I hate hearing of Xavierites from Mumbai!). Remember you as an awesome quizzer at the DI. Great Blog!

    Anil Pathak

  12. Hi,

    A random search on you tube lead me to Theme 8: Tomorrow’s World – Zeitgeist Europe 2010. searched about you on web and found your blog.
    Really liked your talking and views in it, impressive way you speak …

    Regards & Thanks
    Lokesh

  13. Hi JP,
    Stumbled upon your blog and found it quite interesting. I like your comment on how Grateful Dead, perhaps. pioneered open source. There’s a lot business can learn from ‘non-business’ areas; I am blogging somewhat along similar lines.

    thanks, Subashish

  14. JP –
    Look forward to meeting you again soon. Marc introduced us at a SFDC event when you first joined the company. Formerly with D&B, I worked with SFDC to ideate around the notion of data-as-a-service which we brought to life. Today, I’m working with Doc Searles, Phil Windley, Steve Fulling and Craig Burton to create the next generation computing platform for social aps that support the connection and collaboration of the noun: people, places, things by creating “event expressions” that allow independent events to be connected in actionable ways for the user. I believe it’s transformational and after reading your blogs, a little bit more about who you are and where your passion lies, I’m convinced you should join our conversation when we connect with Marc.

    Best,
    Jim Delaney

  15. JP, Met you and your Rock all the way for Calutta to London to New York – you can do the j-low song for that and remix it.

    Ash

  16. Dear Mr. JP Rangaswami,

    This is regards to 4th Cloud Computing Summit 2012 Conference, 23rd March, London, Please provide me your email id, I would like to officially invite you to be our guest speaker to this conference with event brochure enclosed.

    Thanks,
    Fen

  17. I am from Jakarat, Indonesia.I had chance to read your blog, thru my colleague. It is very interesting & gives headstart to face the 21st century. Excited about your dream of building School for future. May God fulfill your dream.

  18. I sincerely hope our paths cross. I’m a good bit older than you and lived the 60’s — miss them still. Not only do we have the same taste in music/mysteries/humor authors and more, but we are both accidental in our careers. I started out to become a nuclear physicist but ended up taking my degree in English Literature.

  19. Hi
    i am arjun gupta,born and grown up in Calcutta ,i saw you on Ted talk and know about you ,i also from the economics background and like the way you explain in the talk by the way i also migrated in late 80 and living in Japan.
    Thank you

  20. JP

    Just watched your TED Talk, it was great.

    A term my parents said to us kids growing up in the 60’s was ‘here’s some food for thought’ and then they would deliver their sermon.

    Just some food for thought for your next terrific presentation.

    All the best.

    Tom Richardson
    Victoria, BC Canada

  21. Hi Sir,
    I am Radhika Ravi from IIT Kanpur, India and I wanted to invite you as a speaker for TEDx which is a non-profit organisation by the Entrepreneurship Cell of IIT Kanpur. It basically follows the very principles of TED event. TEDx invites speakers to speak on global issues and entrepreneurship.
    We will be highly honoured to have you as a speaker for this event to be held on 4 November, 2012. Kindly respond to this post or you can also send me a reply at radhikar@iitk.ac.in or radhika.ravi251@gmail.com.
    It would be very kind if you could please let me know your email id so that I can acquaint you with all the details of the event.

    Thank You…

  22. Dear Mr. Rangaswami

    On behalf of the editor-in-chef Eryk Mistewicz of the new polish magazine – “New media” I would like to kindly ask for your permission to translate to polish and publish in the third issue of our magazine one of your articles: http://confusedofcalcutta.com/2012/11/02/plural-of-personal-is-social/
    We found it extremely interesting and will be honored to have your permission to share it with readers of our magazine.
    The third issue of our magazine will be published at the beginning of the 2013. So far we cooperate with inter alia: Howard Owens, Wayne Vusser, Jean-Marie Bockel, Jean-Poul Oudry and many polish authors (among them acclaimed journalists, politicians and academics). We will be honored to have you within our authors. In case of your permission we would send you copy of the magazine immediately after issuing. We cooperate with famous graphic from “Le Figaro” – Fabien Clairefond, who make graphic portrait of our authors (based on the photos). We will be happy to send you original copy of this graphic.
    Yours sincerely,
    Jolanta Pawnik – Editor

  23. Dear Ms Pawnik, please go ahead and publish, it is a privilege to be asked. All I ask for in return is attribution, and even that is by your choice. Feel free to use the post. And the offer of the graphic sounds great. email me via jp@well.com and I will send you the address to send it to. All the best

  24. Dear JP, I stumbled upon your blog and found it really interesting .. your observations on social media is simply amazing .. its also wonderful know that you are from Calcutta …. I am one of the rare Calcuttans struggling to hold on to that dream place called Calcutta …. inspite of all the drawbacks …. its lovely to read your blog .. enjoyed the insights thoroughly …..

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