Success StoriesNovember 18, 2020

Around the World with Ashok Vaswani, Barclays CEO of Consumer Banking & Payments

Around the World with Ashok Vaswani, Barclays CEO of Consumer Banking & Payments

Inspired Execution: Barclays CEO of Consumer Banking & Payments Ashok Vaswani talks about what it’s like to work all over the world, how digital transformation is only successful if it comes with a cultural mindset shift, and the increasingly important role data plays for financial services companies.

In this week’s episode of the Inspired Execution podcast, DataStax Chairman and CEO Chet Kapoor talks with Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Consumer Banking & Payments at Barclays.

Join Chet and Ashok as they discuss:

  • How Ashok has worked on (practically) every continent
  • How working for a large global organization makes it easy to move from one country to the next
  • Why Africa is such an exhilarating place to visit
  • How data and analytics is like beautiful music when it comes together
  • Barclays Digital Eagle program and how it helped a 103-year-old man connect with his grandkids
  • Why Ashok believes you should never be afraid of an opportunity

Ashok kicks off the podcast by talking about all the places he’s lived because of his career.

“I never dreamt in my life that I'd go and live in so many places. I've lived in Bombay, Dubai, Istanbul, Brussels, New York, Singapore, London, and I've worked in every continent. It's been an incredible journey and I'm deeply grateful and enriched by it.”

Though he’s been and worked practically everywhere, Ashok has found that humans share consistent traits around the world.

“At a very basic level, people are not different, right? Whether you meet the Americans, whether you meet the Singaporeans, and whether you meet the Africans, at a basic fundamental level, people are just trying to get ahead.” 

While financial services organizations are spending a lot of money on technology, those investments won’t matter unless employees buy into a cultural shift.

“Financial services companies spend more money on technology and software than software companies themselves. The amount of money we spend is incredible, but what makes the difference is shifting the mindset of the organization.” 

As we move further into the future, Ashok believes that the organizations that have the most control over their data will be best positioned to win.

“Data and the collection of data, getting it to the right place in the right time and the right format, and using it in the right way is fundamentally important. That will make the difference between winning organizations and those who don't win.” 

Increasingly, a love for data and analytics will be seen as a prerequisite as more organizations transform into data-driven enterprises.

“No longer can we have people who are not into numbers and analytics, and we got to get people to whom numbers sing a song. And we have to have the capabilities that allow them to pull numbers and data in such a way that they can listen to that music, because when it all comes together, it is very beautiful music.”

The pandemic has presented unique challenges to all of us. Ashok believes that leaders are uniquely positioned to help their teams get through these tough times.

“This is a hard time, but I sincerely believe that this is the time when leaders have to stand up. You know that old saying about when the going gets tough, the tough get going. This is the time, right?”

Listen to this episode of Inspired Execution to learn more about Ashok’s career journey, why you should consider every opportunity that comes your way, the commonalities that all humans share together, why Africa is a continent you’ll probably want on your bucket list, the ever-important role data plays in the success of modern organizations, and more.

The story behind “Inspired Execution”

Interested in learning more about the genesis of the Inspired Execution podcast?

Remember to listen to previous episodes of Inspired Execution with:

Also, check out Episode 0 to hear DataStax Chairman and CEO Chet Kapoor speak to what inspired the series and what listeners can expect from his interviews with CIOs and tech leaders from the world’s top enterprises.

The podcast series is available on, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.


One-stop Data API for Production GenAI

Astra DB gives JavaScript developers a complete data API and out-of-the-box integrations that make it easier to build production RAG apps with high relevancy and low latency.