17 Dec 2015 20:32 IST

The good guy who finished first

Google CEO entertains students at Q&A session in SRCC

Don't be surprised if the next Android OS series is named naankhatai, neyappam, or even payasam, as Google CEO Sundar Pichai seems open to the idea floated by one of the students who asked Pichai, "Why have you not created an Android OS in the name of Indian sweets like naankhatai, neyappam or peda? Pichai was taking questions from students across the country during the much anticipated #AskSundar session held at Delhi University's Shriram College of Commerce (SRCC) campus on December 17.

With an infectious smile spreading across his face, Pichai replied, “When I meet my mom next time, I am going to ask for suggestions. Meanwhile, for the next series we are working on for Android, we should consider doing an online poll, with all the Indians voting."

Amidst a talkative and cheering crowd, Pichai received a welcome befitting a Bollywood star when he entered the stadium. Once he was settled, Pichai looked very relaxed to take on questions posed to him by cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle, and students of all ages and sizes surrounding him.

Called “the Rahul Dravid of the tech industry and the good guy who finished first” by Bhogle, and rightly so, Pichai was always interested in technology even as a kid, and his love extended towards semiconductors as he grew up.

“I was like a boy in the candy store; seeing people working on amazing things really stretched my mind,” said Pichai, recalling his early days in Google.

Pichai's words made it clear that he is passionate about artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality. He is leading the firm to find solutions to everyday problems faced by the masses. Google's efforts are based on the scalability of a solution, he said.

Google's initiative, for instance, to provide WiFi facility to 400 railway stations across the country will empower more than 10 million people everyday, according to him.

The tech star had important life lessons and experiences to share with students. “It is important to follow your dream and your heart, you’ll do much better in life,” he said.

He was happy to know that youngsters these days had a different approach to failures and said, “You’ll have many opportunities to reinvent yourself, and trust me, it’s worth the risk.”

Pichai added, at some point of time in life it was very important to work with people with whom you feel insecure, it was an inherent part of learning. “Insecurity makes one work harder and helped in getting better.”

A soccer fan, Pichai tries not to miss a game Barcelona FC is playing. He is very excited about the Indian start-up scene as well. You need entrepreneurs to build things, and all the components to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in India are already there, he said. The start-ups I have seen in India are not very different from those in Silicon Valley.

Google has expansive plans for India, and Pichai’s visit is a part of it. Apart from establishing an elaborate campus in Hyderabad, the tech firm plans to train 2 million new Android developers, in partnership with 30 universities.

To see the BLoC slideshow of Pichai's visit to India, click here .

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