Wesbank CIO, Krishen Rangappa, discusses his self-development journey


Krishen has been supportive of formal programs to give people the opportunity to get meaningful experience

Like most technology nerds and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) that you would find in the world, Krishen Rangappa says he was drawn to tech and was intrigued by the ability to create something out of nothing, the ability to create functionality and experiences, among other things.

At a very young age, he knew this was something he really wanted to do. “At around twelve, this really stuck with me and it became something that I very much enjoyed and it became a skill that defined me to other people,” he says.

Krishen started his career in the state-owned Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, where he managed to acquire some fair acumen and, after a couple of years, he joined FirstRand via an RMB special initiative focused on supply chain for his next job where he was doing extreme programming and exploring other progressive software engineering tools and methodologies. Eventually, he became the head of software development and in 2008 he moved into consultancy for a while.

He returned to FirstRand via WesBank initially as a consultant before planting roots four years ago. He has held various senior management portfolios including CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and Head of Technology Shared Services.

Currently, Krishen is the CIO of Wesbank, a position he has held since April this year. “It has been quite a journey for me. There has been lots of personal and leadership development lessons, lots of challenges to overcome, and a major journey of self-development,” says Krishen.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and many working from home, Krishen says he feels people are developing bad habits of no time management and no social activity. He says this habit is not sustainable, but fortunately the organisation he works for is conscious of that and have tried to create the headroom, but at the same time, it is something that one has to self-regulate.

“When you are in a situation like this, you have to ensure that people remain motivated and are not falling off the wagon, that they have enough steer and sense of community,” says Krishen.

Having started his career at a young age and being afforded leadership positions earlier in life, Krishen says he has been supportive of formal programs to give people the opportunity to get meaningful experience to expressively enter the work force.

“One of the great problems the youth is facing, is that you can have a qualification, but without experience, you are not marketable. What really matters to an individual who is going to have a career - and really grow - is to have a connection with somebody who has done it,” says Krishen.

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