Google CEO Sundar Pichai visits alma mater IIT-Kharagpur

Sundar Pichai visited his alma mater IIT-Kharagpur and hosted questions from students in the campus.

Tech giant Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai visited IIT-Kharagpur today wherein he hosted a question-answer series with students at an open-air theater in the campus. The event was attended by over 3,500 students and was streamed live by Google on YouTube.

At the event titled ‘A journey back to the past to inspire the future,’ Pichai spoke about his life where he spent an "amazing four years" at IIT-Kharagpur.

He met his wife, Anjali at the IIT campus. “I met Anjali at IIT-Kharagpur 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.

When asked how things have changed in terms of technology, he said, “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.”

He went on to talk about the time when he was first interviewed at Google. “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 a 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.”

“My first three interviews, I couldn’t answer well because I hadn’t used the product. In my fourth interview, when someone asked me have you seen Gmail and I said no, he actually showed me the product. And then the fifth interviewer asked what do you think of Gmail and I was able to answer then,” he added.

When asked about how he spent his free time, he replied that he enjoys spending time with his children and loves watching cricket and football. He even added that he enjoys watching Tendulkar play.

One of the students at the event asked Pichai what his GPA was when he was at IIT, to which he replied that he was too embarrassed to admit his first year’s GPA but added that he did much better in the following three years. Pichai, on being asked, revealed that his favourite Bollywood actress is Deepika Padukone.

The event ended with him taking a selfie with everyone.

Pichai is currently in India for a work and personal visit. He announced the Digital Unlocked programme for Small and Medium Enterprises at an event in Delhi yesterday.

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