Sundar Pichai was at IIT KGP today and addressed around 3500 students, professors and media in an hour long talk. Saying that he felt great coming back to his alma mater after 25 years, Sundar got nostalgic about his years in the institution, where he not only met his wife but closed down the hostel mess once for unwittingly saying something in Hindi, a language he was just learning then. The invigorating session included something for everyone present there.
Here are the top 6 quotes by the enterprising Indian who is the CEO of the world’s biggest company.
- “At Google we have an ambitious approach to things we do we call it Moon shots”
Pichai believes it is important to learn to let go at all level of the organisation. It is essential for a head to trust others to do the right thing.
Pichai asks students value creativity and experiences of doing things. He says people do well in all walks of life and it is important to keep the perspective in life. Pichai advises students to enjoy what they are doing and understand things deeper, by doing it in a deeper way and learning by doing things. He says setbacks actually don’t matter and follow your dreams; most of how life plays out is up to you.
- “We try to work on things which billions of people will use every day.”
Making other people successful is paramount and removing barriers or road blocks such that others are successful. Pichai says one needs to ensure they are surrounded by good people.
The rates at which things are progressing digitally in India have been phenomenal and we see it in every way says Pichai. He believes mobile is an amazing revolution in India and Indian start-ups are as good as start-ups in anywhere in the world. In India, the potential is there but the market is still developing. It will take few more years for the market to fully realise the potential.
Pichai believes digital market is still developing and that’s the problem you run into as it is difficult to scale across India and reach that full potential which gives you the resources to go compete in the international market.
- “We see to it that it solves real problems for them.”
Valuing team work is important says Pichai. He believes it is important to build an organisation where people want to work together and set up collaborative cultures.
Pichai says start-ups in India should focus on similar markets like Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Trend lines are strongly in favour for Indian start-ups and in 5-10 years there will be big global companies coming out of India says Pichai.
- “We aim high.”
Pichai says all students must always look into things they like doing. You aim high enough that you fail-that’s the natural part of the process says the Google CEO.
He believes technology disrupting education big time and education needs to evolve and change just like everything else. Pichai says one needs to be well rounded and try different things. He urges students to take risk and follow their passions.
- “We try to use deep computer science to what we make so that we have a differentiated approach to solving.”
In India, there is a lot of pressure to follow set lanes throughout career. Pichai believes it is important to get real world experience. He quotes examples of other universities such as Stanford where most students don’t choose their majors till their final year. People explore different things and find what they are passionate about says Pichai.
- “Larry used to say if you work on really difficult things you are better off because that way you don’t have competition, as others are not working on that difficult a problem. And even if you fail, you end up doing something great in the process – that’s the philosophy that guided us all through these years.”
Pichai wants to make Google work in as many languages as possible so that it works in rural situations with right dialect. Getting access for people like introducing entry level cheaper smart phones prices to be brought down even more to about $30 to start with.
Pichai wants to ensure connectivity by training rural Indian women to use the internet. He is looking to bring local small and medium scale merchants online.
(Edited by Aashika Jain)