Google CEO Sundar Pichai, taking questions at the IIT Kharagpur campus #Backoncampus event, revealed his plans of what he wants to work on in India. Since he passed out, this was his first visit to his campus after 24 years.
The tech giant's CEO hosted a friendly interaction with the students of the college, discussing the importance of academics, what has changed in India since then and Google's plans for India. Yesterday, he also announced new initiatives, including a training programme - Digital Unlocked, aimed towards small and medium businesses in India.
Pichai acknowledged the amazing 4 years he spent at IIT-Kharagpur. On a lighter note, he advised the students to try different things, follow their passion, be an all rounder and experience the real world. Also, while recalling a funny incident he told students,“I 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”.
The Google CEO who met his wife, Anjali, at the IIT campus, also shared that the access to the girls' hostel wasn't easy.
Given below are the other 5 key highlights from today's event :
India's Developing Market Has Potential
In India, the potential is there but the market is developing so it will take few more years to realize the potential. We get excited about smartphones but we are talking a number of 300 million in a country of 1.3 billion people and not all of them have good connectivity as well.So, I think the digital market is still developing and that’s the problem we face as a company.
India Soon Will Be Home To Big Software Companies
Startups need to set their sights higher. It's difficult to scale across India and reach that full potential which gives you resources to go compete internationally in 3-4 years. Soon, there will be big global software companies coming out of India and we will be used to it.
Next Big Thing In R & D
We are making a big bet of machine learning and AI. Advance machine learning will make big difference in many fields. We recently published a paper using machine learning to help diagnose diabetic retinopathy. It’s the fastest growing cause of blindness in the world using machine learning. But by using advanced machine learning we can detect it pretty early and accurately. This is an early example of kind of changes that will happen when you apply machine learning to all kind of fields. The thing I am most excited about is bringing advances from AI and machine learning.
Role Of Google In Digitization
We try hard to build products that work for everyone. Google search works that way. When we look at India, the main area where we have focused on is to make difference in India you need to make google work in as many languages as possible. English is only spoken by a small segment of people. Getting google work in other languages is the big focus so that it works in rural situation with the right dialect.
Providing Greater Connectivity
Second is getting access to people. I would love to see cheaper smartphones in India.Connectivity is extremely important so we have been working on Wifi project.We have connected 100 railway stations and started prog like Internet - Saathi where we are training Indian women on how to use the internet.