Sundar Pichai: There Is No Limit To What You Can Achieve

Lakshya Singh Lakshya Singh
Feb 22, 2021 6 min read
Sundar Pichai: There Is No Limit To What You Can Achieve

If one were to curate a list of the most powerful personalities in the Silicon Valley, it would be incomplete without Sundar Pichai. Sundar Pichai is the CEO of both Alphabet and Google. The Google head honcho is renowned for his decision-making skills and business acumen. Read on to find out the story behind Sundar Pichai's meteoric rise.

Sundar Pichai Quick Facts

Name Sundar Pichai
Born June 10, 1972 - Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Age 47
Citizenship The United States of America
Education Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (B.Tech.)
Stanford University (MS)
University of Pennsylvania (MBA)
Title CEO of Alphabet and Google
Board member of Alphabet Inc., Magic Leap
Net worth $600 million (as of Jan 2020)
Salary $2 million per annum (as of Jan 2020)
Wife Anjali Pichai

Sundar Pichai - Latest News

Taking a cue from the emerging world order, the video-sharing platform YouTube organized a virtual graduation ceremony on 6 June 2020 for students who couldn't receive their in-person farewell due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic. But what left a mark on the virtual crowd was Sundar Pichai's inspirational message to the 'Class of 2020' that encouraged students to be the change.

In his speech to the outgoing students of 2020, the Google CEO said that while it was difficult to find hope in such bleak moments, it was important to celebrate the knowledge that one gained in these difficult times. "You will prevail," he stressed.

Here's what Sundar Pichai said:

  • I don't think this is the graduation ceremony any of you imagined. At a time when you should be celebrating all the knowledge you've gained, you may be grieving what you've lost: the moves you planned, the jobs you earned, and the experiences you were looking forward to. In bleak moments like these, it can be difficult to find hope.
  • Be open, be impatient, be hopeful. If you can do that, history will remember the Class of 2020 not for what you lost, but for what you changed. You have the chance to change everything. I am optimistic you will.
  • I grew up without much access to technology. We didn't get our first telephone till I was ten, I didn't have regular access to a computer till I came to America for graduate school, on the television, when we finally got one, only had one channel. By contrast, you grew up with computers of all shapes and sizes.
  • There are probably things about technology that frustrate you and make you impatient. Don't lose that impatience. It will create the next technology revolution and enable you to build things my generation could never dream of.
  • You will make the world better in your way, even if you don't know exactly how. The important thing is to be open-minded so you can find what you love. So take the time to find the thing that excites you more than anything else in the world. Not the thing your parents want you to do. Or the thing that all your friends are doing. Or that society expects of you.
  • My father spent the equivalent of a year's salary on my plane ticket to the US so I could attend Stanford. It was my first time on a plane.
  • America was expensive. A phone call back home was more than $2 a minute, and a backpack cost the same as my dad's monthly salary in India.
  • The only thing that got me from here to thereβ€”other than luckβ€”was a deep passion for technology and an open mind.
  • Take the time to find the thing which excites you more than anything else in the world, not the things your parents want you to do, or the thing all your friends are doing, or the society expects of you.

In attendance was a stellar crowd comprising the former US President Barack Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama, BeyoncΓ©, Korean pop group BTS, Lady Gaga, Malala Yousafzai and others.

Sundar Pichai - Childhood and Education

Young Sundar Pichai
Young Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai was born on 10 June 1972 in Madurai, a city in India. His father was an electrical engineer and his mother was a stenographer.

Sundar completed most of his schooling from Jawahar Vidyalaya, a CBSE-affiliated school in Chennai, and did his 12th grade from Vana Vani school which is situated in the clamor of IIT, Madras. He then earned his degree in metallurgical engineering from IIT, Kharagpur, Kolkata .

Pichai went to Stanford University for his Masters in Material Science and Engineering. He went to Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania for his MBA. He was a Siebel Scholar and a Palmer Scholar at Wharton.


Also read: The Success Story of OLA founder- Bhavish Agarwal


Sundar Pichai - Becoming the CEO of Google

Sundar Pichai after becoming Google CEO
Sundar Pichai after becoming Google CEO

Sundar Pichai started working as an engineering and product manager at Applied Materials and later joined McKinsey & Company as a management consultant. Sundar Pichai joined Google in 2004. He was given the position of a product manager and worked on Google's client software products, including Google Chrome and Chrome OS. Google Drive is also the brainchild of Sundar Pichai.

Chromebook was released for trial and testing in 2011 after Pichai gave a demonstration of the Chrome OS in 2009. Chromebook was officially released to the public in 2012. On 13 March 2013, Pichai added Android to the list of Google products he oversaw. Everything related to Android was formerly managed by Andy Rubin.

Pichai's team played a significant role in developing the Google Chrome browser and then turning it the most widely used web browser. Sundar Pichai became the CEO of Google on 10 August 2015. His appointment is credited to the success of the various products launched under his supervision and his exemplary decision-making abilities.

On 3 December 2019, he was appointed as the new CEO of Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google.

Sundar Pichai - The Family Man

Sundar Pichai with wife Anjali Pichai
Sundar Pichai with wife Anjali Pichai

Sundar Pichai is married to Anjali Pichai. Anjali was Sundar's classmate at IIT Kharagpur. They have two kids, a boy named Kiran Pichai and a girl named Kavya Pichai. The couple stays in Los Altos hills.

Sundar and his family are known for maintaining a low-profile and rarely discuss their lives on public platforms.

Sundar Pichai - An Excellent CEO

Sundar Pichai was the brain behind Google's famous search toolbar. The toolbar led to a massive increase in user searches. It was later merged with Google Chrome. Chrome then became the most-used web browser in the world under Pichai. Sundar also worked on other Google products such as Google Gear and Google Pack. He is on the 'Board of Advisors' at Ruba Inc. and also headed Jiva Software from 2011 to 2013.

Sundar Pichai has an estimated net worth of around $600 million. He is among the highest-paid executives in the world.

Sundar Pichai's journey is an inspiration for many. From being raised in a modest family in India to becoming the CEO of one of the biggest organizations, he is an apt example of hard work and sincerity. Sundar once said in an interview,

"There was a simplicity to my life, which was very nice compared with today's world. We lived in a kind of modest house, shared with tenants. We would sleep on the living room floor. There was a drought when I was growing up, and we had anxiety. Even now, I can never sleep without a bottle of water beside my bed. Other houses had refrigerators, and then we finally got one. It was a big deal."

Despite the success and fame Sundar Pichai enjoys, he remains humble and stays connected to his roots. If there is one quote that sits well with this gem of a person, it has to be, "Dreams do come true if one chooses to believe in them."


Also read: Inspiring Quotes from Indian Startup Founders


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