Google CEO Sundar Pichai visited his alma-mater IIT KGP on January 5, 2017 and said these simple but lovely things that made students realize why he is the CEO of Google.
About those golden days at IIT KGP
In an event titled ‘A journey back to the past to inspire the future’, he answered questions on his college campus days. He noted those four years were amazing at IIT-Kharagpur. “It has been phenomenal to come back,” he said.
It was in IIT KGP that Sundar met his wife Anjali. He pointed out how difficult it was to call girls from their hostels when there were no smartphones. Also visiting them in girls’ hostels was very difficult, that only an IITian can know and correlate. “I met Anjali at IIT-K and she was my classmate. Just to go get someone at the girl’s hostel, you had to walk in the front and request someone to call them. And they’d go in and loudly say – Anjali, Sundar is here. It wasn’t exactly a pleasant experience,” he said.
Recalling some funny memories from his KGP days, where he called someone Abey Saale. “As a freshman, couple of weeks into being here I came from Chennai. I had learnt Hindi in school but never spoke much. Just listening to other people, I thought that’s how you address people. One day there was someone in the mess, and I had to call him, and I called him Abey Saale. In my first couple of weeks I thought you call people that way. Next thing, I know folks in the mess were quite upset, and they closed down the mess temporarily.”
On technology front
The Google CEO was in all praise by the rate at which India is progressing. “We didn’t have phones back then. I remember waiting for a long time to get a rotary phone at home. Didn’t have access to computers growing up. Clearly the progress has been phenomenal.” Sundar said.
On his first interview
“I interviewed at Google on April 1, 2004, which is April Fool’s Day. Google had just announced Gmail and it was invite-only. But people weren’t exactly sure if it was an April Fool’s joke. So, I remember doing my interviews during the day and people kept asking me what do you think of Gmail, but I didn’t have a chance to use it and I thought it was a April Fool’s joke,” Pichai said. Well it is no surprise, where Gmail stands today, Sundar has played a great role.
On his ideals
Pichai also revealed that Infosys founder Narayana Murthy was his ideal during his college days. “I admire people like that who put India on the map,” he said. He also added that he loved watching Tendulkar play, to no one’s surprise.
On his hobby
“I like to spend time with my children who are 13 and 9 years old, and I also love watching cricket and football as well”. He said during rapid fire question rounds.
When he was asked about his favourite Bollywood actress, he replied it would be Deepika Padukone.