Who is Sundar Pichai: From Humble Beginnings to Google CEO

Published: 11th August 2015 08:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th August 2015 11:24 AM   |  A+A-


Sundar Pichai | File AFP

The Chennai-born engineer might be immersed in a lot of glory and success of taking over as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) post of search giant Google. However, his beginning does not include any silver spoons or insuring fortunes.

According to a Bloomberg report, Pichai’s father was an electrical engineer for GEC, a British conglomerate, while her mother was a stenographer prior to giving birth. "I used to come home and talk to him a lot about my work day and the challenges I faced…. Even at a young age, he was curious about my work. I think it really attracted to him to technology." recounts a proud father Regunatha Pichai.

     >>Related: Chennai-born Sundar Pichai Named New CEO of Google

Pichai and other three members of his family used to live in a two-room apartment, where Pichai’s younger brother and he used to sleep in the living room. During his growing days, he did not even have a Television and relied on crowded city buses or a old Lambretta scooter for transportation.

He got his first rotary telephone when he was 12, which was his first interaction to technology. With sheer hardwork, he excelled in academics in IIT Kharagpur. He even won a scholarship at Stanford University to learn about semiconductor physics and material science.

Pichai’s dad had to take loan to just buy his flight ticket and his initial expenses. He even used to break his family savings to withdraw $1000, which was more than his annual salary.

"My dad and mom did what a lot of parents did at the time….They sacrificed a lot of their life and used a lot of their disposable income to make sure their children were educated,” Pichai expressed his gratitude towards them.

After completing his PhD at Stanford, his parents panicked when he dropped out work as a engineer. Pichai finished his MBA at Wharton School of Business in 2002 and arrived at Google on April 1, 2004.

During his job interview, Google was launching Gmail and Pichai thought it was another one of those April Fools’ pranks.

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