About me

I’m JP. 65, married, three children, two grandchildren. I was born in Calcutta and lived there till I was 23, 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. Trained as an economist/statistician and financial journalist; spent most of my adult life working in that strange space where finance meets technology, for a number of very large firms. Retired since mid 2018.

I’m passionate about the things that interest me.

My family and friends. They define me. I’ll respect their privacy and say no more.

Food. Chillies. Mangoes.

Music. A 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.

My profession(s), both planned and accidental. Anything and everything to do with information.

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.

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.

(Now that I’m retired, I still haven’t built that school. One day? Maybe I’ll run a bookshop instead).

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 open source as well. In democratised innovation. My thoughts on open source were probably more driven by Jerry Garcia than by Raymond or Stallman or Torvalds et al.

186 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. Hello JP
    I, Neelam Shah, a member of Footprints -national level technical event held at MSU – FTE, Baroda, India. We have a segment called Kaliedoscope in which guest lectures are held. If possible, we want email id or contact of yours. If you can drop your reply in my inbox : [email protected]
    Hoping for your reply.

  7. 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


  8. 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

  9. Well JP you have apparently gone full circle from the City of London and back again!. I vividly remember working with you and Martin Turner on Y2K, which turned out to be ‘not exciting’ which was precisely the result we wanted!.

  10. Interesting stuff. I came across your site as I looked up Roll right stones Traffic lyrics in response to images a friend sent via Facebook – and was intrigued by your website title C of C… I thought your description of swooping vinyl for smoke was funny, and I remember similar days, tho I didn’t get to Indianuntil later, and still not to Kolkatta! Where I know a bit about thru Jute trade to Scotland, kommun ism and Literature… I thought were some old-er dude, but you are two years younger!! Hope you make the school
    Of progressive thinking happen! Paul McAuley

  11. Hi JP, I came across a message from Raymond Claudius recorded on your blog some three years ago. I wonder if you could please pass on my e-mail address to him or alternatively send me his e-mail address? Raymond and I were in the 1969 ISC class from SXC. I live in NYC and I would love to establish with Raymond. He expressed his interest in touching base with his contemporaries from a prior age. Thank you.

  12. you are ferocious even downloading your thoughts in such a natural way that the reader listens you talking & I’m very much impressed your flow of thoughts when you switch subjects. I look forward to seeing, studying, teaching in your dream school

  13. Hi there… I just found a note to myself from 2009 to check your web site for a book called “Fossil Fools” on the impediments to change. Did you end up writing it?

  14. Hi JP,
    Please send me your coordinates,email mobile no, would like to explore further the possibility of a pitch for the no1 Romanian SW production unit,exporter only to Blue Chip Clients,for DB Global Tech,have notice dthat they have a Romanian Structure.
    My cell is 0040722331661
    Thank you

  15. JP –

    I’m a big fan of your blog! You’re a kindred spirit. I’d love to invite you to an event at the Collision conference next week, if you’ll be attending. Please email me if you’re interested.

  16. Dear Mr. Rangaswami, I’m a Psychotherapist in Germany (have just added you on Linkedin with a personal note) and I am fascinated by your suggestion of regarding information as food. In your TED Talk about the subject you mention that you have thought about this for more than 25 years now. I am absolutely desperate to hear or read more of your thoughts and research about it. I have read through this blog and I have tried to find a book of yours on the subject, but I can’t find anything. It would mean a lot to me (and to the book I am writing) if there was any way for you to gift me some more of that information of yours. Just to be clear, I am not asking for any endorsment / investment / involvement of yours whatsoever, I can imagine every other contact request you receive to be of that nature. So I just want to say, I am asking for information if you are able to find the time to hand it to me in any form. I am actually in London by the end of august, but even suggesting an actual conversation to a man as busy as you are seems stupid to me, so I really don’t dare. If there is anything you can send me though, I’d love to receive it, you’ve got my contact request on linkedin or you can contact me at [email protected] (but I am already afraid of my spam filter getting in the way, so I’d appreciate linkedin if you are considering a reply). Thanks!

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