In every human life, the days spent in schools and colleges are the most memorable and the golden ones. No matter where you reach in life, coming back to one’s alma mater is always a special feeling. Currently on one such visit is Google CEO Sundar Pichai. He had the chance to experience that feeling when he visited his undergraduate college, IIT-Kharagpur after 23 years. He relived his student days with the verve of a young student. Pichai took a degree in metallurgical engineering from IIT Kharagpur and then went on to do an MS from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania.
In an event titled, ‘A journey back to the past to inspire the future’, hosted by comedians Kanan Gill and Biswa Kalyan Rath, over 3,500 listened to Sundar Pichai talk at the open-air theater in the institute. Gill and Rath, themselves are an IIT-KGP alumnus.
While interacting with the students, Sundar not only remembered his days when he was there, a regular college student, unhappy with the mess food and looking for reasons to bunk classes, he also touched several topics. But of course, when the CEO of the world’s biggest technology corporation is on campus, it was sure that there will be questions about Google and technology. He talked about how Google comes up with revolutionary products and ideas that create a large impact on the world population.
He told the students that the people at Google have an ambitious approach to everything they do. They try to work on things which people use everyday, which will apply to billions of people and it will solve a real problem for them. Anything they try to do, they think of it in the favor of general public.
He said that India is important to Google’s core mission and taking internet access to more and more people is high on his priority list. Pichai added that he visits India regularly, and the rate at which the things are progressing, at least digitally, have been phenomenal, and one can witness it in every way.
Google is a big supporter of the Digital India initiative and is looking for ways to contribute to it. One of the exciting things about India is that on can do every effective public-private partnership. Google has also finalized many partnerships. With the railways project, a partnership between Google and RailTel, Google has been able to bring WiFi access to many railway stations in India.
The few priceless leadership tips that were shared with the young audience are also enlisted below:
As a leader, your job is to make others successful. Your work is to remove roadblocks so that they succeed at what they do.
One has to aim high enough irrespective he/she might fail several times because that’s a natural part of the process. Even if one fails, one end up doing something great in the process.
Getting into IITs requires a lot of hard work. However, seeking admission into a prestigious institute doesn’t ensure success. Success comes from the hard work.
Academics are important but it is not everything. Take risks, try different things and follow your passion.
IIT Kharagpur had conferred Alumnus Award to Sundar Pichai in 2015, however, the award was given to him in person yesterday as he was not able to receive it last time.
Google CEO Pichai has certainly come a long way. He didn’t have a computer or even a phone at home while growing up. He saw his first computer only when he came to IIT Kharagpur. The first time he travelled on a plane was 20 years ago, when he flew to the US for studies at Stanford University. Though Pichai is a super geek, he has interests like any other common Indian. He watches the popular show Koffee With Karan, his favourite actress is Deepika Padukone, and he is a Virat Kohli fan.
After the India visit of Travis Kalanick, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of US-based taxi aggregator Uber, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was in New Delhi for an event on small and medium businesses (SMB) – one of the new focus areas of the global technology major. According to sources, Pichai has most probably met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant as well. Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad most likely met Pichai at the event where he had been invited to speak.