Google Can Do Well Only If Others Do Well, Says CEO Sundar Pichai

Alphabet and Google CEO Pichai dismissed risks of Google becoming too powerful.

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By Shreya Ganguly

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Over the last few years, while technology and digitization have fuelled the global start-up ecosystem, they have made tech giants become more powerful than ever before. In 2017, New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo had said that the "frightful five"—Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook—are collectively becoming more powerful than several governments.

However, upon being asked about Google's power during the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF) 2020, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai dismissed any such risk of becoming too powerful and said the online search giant will do well only when other companies do well.

"With our scale rightly comes scrutiny. Yes, we've bought start-ups, but we also invest every year in hundreds of start-ups through our venture arms," Pichai was quoted as saying by newswire PTI.

Speaking about the company's future plans, Pichai said the parent Alphabet Inc. has the flexibility to have different structures to allow it to take a long-term view and work on how technology can improve the lives of other people.

Take On AI Regulations

According to reports, Pichai also believes that all countries need to come together for a common regulatory framework for artificial intelligence (AI). He also added that the world needs a free and open Internet for everyone.

Speaking with World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman, Klaus Schwab, Pichai explained that privacy is not something which can be considered as a luxury good and rather it is something which needs to safeguard every user across the globe.

"Data sovereignty is important for every country and that needs to be taken into account in any data protection framework in any part of the world," Pichai said.

He emphasized the need of embracing the use of AI by all countries. Being a technology optimist, he believes that AI can play a significant role in health, medical and weather forecast, among others.

Apart from this, Pichai also mentioned that quantum will be the next big milestone in the technology space as combination of AI and quantum would increase the growth pace. According to him, quantum's combination with biology can also present a great potential.

After having worked with Google for over 15 years, Madurai-born Pichai was appointed as the chief executive of the parent company Alphabet in December. The 47-year old is now responsible for all activities at the parent company in addition to his current responsibilities.

Google's India-Focused Initiatives

Internet users in India are expected to reach 627 million in 2019, according to a report by Kantar IMRB. At a time when smartphone and Internet penetration is on the rise in India, the US-based search giant has been introducing a slew of India-focused features and services since 2018 to maintain its dominance in the market.

In a bid to further strengthen presence in India, Google India appointed Former Star and Disney's head Sanjay Gupta as country manager in November 2019. Gupta is also serving the Internet company as vice-president of sales and operations for India.

In September 2019, during Google for India event, the tech giant launched its new app Google Pay for Business to encourage small- and medium-sized merchants to adopt digital payments. According to the company, this app will make the process of on-boarding easier via video KYC, and instant verifications using Google Duo. The company is also making payments available to debit and credit cardholders through "tokenized' cards which is a secure way of paying via a digital token instead of using card number.

Google also joined hands with National Skills Development Corporation where students will be allowed to easily get started with jobs and also find better employment.

Shreya Ganguly

Features Writer

Covering startups and investments for Entrepreneur India. Previously a startup correspondent at Inc42. Reach out to me with interesting story ideas at 

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