By Siva Sivapragasam
He was what you could describe as a whiz-kid who registered hundreds of telephone numbers in his memory as a youngster.
Forty-three year old Tamilian Sundararajan Pichai, better known as Sundar Pichai and originally from Chennai has taken over as the CEO of the American multi-million Google technology giant.
Sundar Pichai grew up in Chennai, Tamilnadu and received his education throughout in the city.
Pichai has a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, a master’s degree from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
“Teaching students for 44 years and hearing news of their success is what makes it worth and is my main source of satisfaction,” said Sanat Kumar Roy, 69, who taught Pichai. “He was very well mannered and soft spoken. He was the topper in the metallurgical batch from the first year itself,” said Prof Roy, who taught at IIT Kharagpur for 44 years before retiring.
Pichai landed his first job at Google in 2004 and rose-up in the ladder to become CEO. Pichai’s life story is remarkable, and his rise to the top of Google is a glowing endorsement of India’s standing in the global technology industry, and equally, a reminder of the so-called “American Dream”.Pichai who was born and schooled in Chennai captained his school’s cricket team, leading it to win regional competitions.
Eric Schmidt who was Executive Chairman at old Google remarked “I am really excited about the vision and brilliance of Sundar.. he’s going to be a great CEO “
It was only a year ago that another Indian Satya Nadella was appointed as the CEO of the Giant IT leader, Microsoft Corporation.
Pichai’s upbringing was humble. His family lived in a two room apartment. Pichai didn’t have a room – he slept on the living room floor, as did his younger brother. The family didn’t own even a television, or a car.
But Pichai’s father planted the seeds of technology into his boy’s mind, partly thanks to his job at British conglomerate General Electric Company.”I used to come home and talk to him a lot about my work day and the challenges I faced,”Pichai’s father Regunatha Pichai told Bloomberg, adding that Sundar had a remarkable talent for remembering telephone numbers when he was young.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted “Congratulations Sundar Pichai. My best wishes for the new role at @google.,”