Sundar Pichai interaction with students at IIT Kharagpur


Meeting and interaction with an icon of the same field, who is also an ex-student of the same college is a blessing. Its a lifetime opportunity and gives much confidence, strength, energy and possibilities.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who has a BTech degree from IIT Kharagpur interacts with students. It was like walking down memory lanes for him on Wednesday. Close to 3,000 IITians gathered to meet the alumnus.

During the interaction, Pichai talked about everything from his learning hindi, love for sports, advice to kids, his college days, nostalgia, to meeting his wife Anjali.

Here are the some highlights of Sundar Pichai's address :

- Saw my first computer at IIT

- It is great to be back here.

- It wasn't easy to get admission in.

- Did I bunk? Yes, it is the right of passage while going through college.   But I worked hard as well.

- Sambhar or Dal: Didn't have cameras and phones back then. One of the   favourite questions on mess food, people would ask us to guess whether   it was sambhar or dal.

- Abey Saale: Didn't know Hindi too well when I came here from Chennai. I   thought "abbey saale!" was a way to call out to people. I learnt Hindi   in college.

- I met my wife here. It wasn't always easy to walk and meet then.
  Didn't have access to computer at home. Looked at the first computer    here. Now we have 300 smartphones.

- I remember as a freshman you would lock the door and leave. But when you   returned your room would be completely rearranged, without the doors    being opened.

- Some things don't change, but overall there has been a lot of change I   see here on campus.

- I'm sure my share of experiences weren't too different from what you   have here even today. I have had lots of good memories. You make friends   for a lifetime.

- We've always had an ambitious approach at Google. We want to work on   things billions of people will use everyday. You might fail a few times.   But that's ok. Larry (Larry Page, Alphabet CEO) used to say you must aim   to do great things. Even if you fail, you end up doing something   worthwhile which you learn a great deal from.

- The computation power has dramatically increased in the recent years.   Data learning algorithms can now be used much more easily now. Image   recognition, voice recognition, translation services, etc can now change   lives.

- The digital market in India is growing. Indian companies now need to set   their sights on bigger things. I am confident you will soon see big   global innovations coming from India very soon.

- Most parents aspire to see their children aim high in education and that   is a great trait we have. Focus on education is a big strength. I want   to see the young people focus on creativity and take more risks.

- There are many great people who make it big, even though they don't make   it to IIT. There is a lot of talent in India.

- There are many many different options available to people that gives   them so many opportunities.

- As a leader it is important to not just see your own success. But focus   on the success of others. There are so many people who work so hard and   try new things everyday. As a leader we should guide them to succeed.   Focusing on the team is one of the most important jobs for a leader.

- The thing I am most excited about is to bring machine learning and AI   (Artificial intelligence) to all facets of life.

- On IIT Kharagpur as Google doodle: Even if I send an email to make   IIT-Kharagpur as the doodle for the day, they wont do it. We have very   strong ethics and principles of the organisation that are followed and   we are very particular about what all is approved as doodles.

- We look forward to cheaper smartphones in India. In the $30 bracket for   entry level smartphones. We at Google want to focus on usage of Internet   in rural areas in India. We are big supporters of the Digital India   program. We are also working on digitising payments.

- I am fully confident that India will be a global player when it comes to   digital economies. We are growing well as a country and will not be   behind any country, even the most advanced ones when it comes to   digitisation and digital economies.

- Pressure on Kids: There is a lot of pressure on kids today. It's quite   shocking to hear that children are preparing for IIT from eighth   standard. Setbacks are perfectly fine in life and people shouldn't get   too disheartened, not lose focus. If someone doesn't make it to IIT, it   is not the end of the road. There is a good education available in other   universities and colleges of global repute.

- I'm not sure what I will be doing in 10 years, but I am passionate about   developing products that makes lives better and hopefully I will be able   to continue doing that a decade from now.

- Gmail was launched on near April fools day and when we sent out invites   people weren't sure if Gmail was an April fools joke.

- On humanities courses: Doing more things and getting a more well rounded   experience makes a real difference.

- Pichai's Rapid Fire :

- How do you spend you free time- I spend time with my young kids. I like   watching cricket and soccer.

- What was your GPA at IIT- Too embarrassed to admit it after the first   year, but really good for the next three years to make up for it.

- Who was your idol during college- Many. Mr Narayan Murthy. Loved   watching Tendulkar play.

- Who is your favourite Bollywood actress- Deepika Padukone. I used to   watch Prakash Padukone play Badminton.

- Who was your favourite actress when you were growing up- Many

- Did you have poster in your room-I don't want to comment on the posters.