India is a part of me, I carry it with me wherever I go: Sundar Pichai on receiving Padma Bhushan 

Sundar Pichai (File image)

Sundar Pichai (File image)

Sundar Pichai, the Indian-origin CEO of Alphabet and Google, said he was deeply grateful to the Indian government and the people of India, on being conferred with the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honours. India’s Ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, presented Pichai with the honour on behalf of the Indian Government.

Pichai and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, were among a list of business leaders conferred with the honour in the Trade and Industry category, on the eve of the country’s 73rd Republic Day earlier this year.

“India is a part of me. I carry it with me wherever I go. (Unlike this beautiful award which I will keep somewhere safe.). I was fortunate to grow up in a family that cherished learning and knowledge, with parents who sacrificed a lot to make sure I had opportunities to explore my interests,” Pichai said in a statement, reacting to the honour.

He further said that innovations created in India are benefitting people around the world — from digital payments to voice technology. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India vision has certainly been an accelerator for that progress. I am proud that Google continues to invest in India, partnering with governments, businesses and communities over two transformative decades,” he added.

Google recently said it would invest $ 10 billion in India, to enable more affordable internet access, build products for India’s unique needs, help businesses of all sizes in their digital transformation, and use AI to tackle big societal challenges. “I look forward to continuing the great partnership between Google and India, as we work together to bring the benefits of technology to more people”, Pichai said.

From humble beginnings in Chennai to becoming the CEO of 2 technology giants – Google and Alphabet, it’s been an incredible rise to the top for Pichai.

Born in Madurai to a stenographer mom and an engineer dad, Sundar Pichai grew up in a two-room apartment in Chennai. He completed his BTech from IIT Kharagpur, followed by an MS at Stanford and an MBA at Wharton.

Pichai worked with McKinsey and Applied Materials before joining Google in 2004 as product manager. He was appointed VP of product development in 2008, and senior VP of Chrome and apps in 2012, before leading Android in 2013. He became the CEO of Google in 2015, when Alphabet was carved out as a separate entity, and was later appointed as the chief of Alphabet and Google in 2019, joining a long list of global CEOs of Indian origin.