What will you learn from this summary?
Begin here to learn about the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, and his journey from rags to riches! This summary teaches you everything you should know about the millionaire and his journey from a middle-class individual to leading one of the largest companies in the world!
Who will learn from this summary?
• Technology Enthusiasts
• People who like to read biographies.
About the book
This summary is a detailed story about Sundar Pichai’s life. It discusses his early life and his journey to becoming the CEO of one of the largest companies in the world. You read about his middle-class life as well as his life as a millionaire!
BIOGRAPHY OF SUNDAR PICHAI
Imagine being the CEO of Google! The man came from a simple background yet carved his way to the top! Sundar Pichai, an Indian business executive, was a quiet kid who would focus on his studies and had a tight circle of friends. But nothing could stop this young man from achieving his goals and ambitions. Read about Sundar Pichai and his story from rags to riches. Read about technology and how he helped make Chrome and Android what it is today! Read everything you should know about Larry Page’s right-hand man and his journey to the top!
Early Life and Education
Sundar Pichai was born in Madurai in Tamil Nadu as Sundararajan Pichai on June 10 in 1972.He began his education in a school in Chennai and lived in a locality called Ashok Nagar. Pichai was always top of his class. He was excellent at academics since his childhood. Sundar Pichai’s father, R.S. Pichai, worked at the English Electric Company of India as an electrical engineer. R.S. Pichai and his wife Lakshmi Pichai are currently living in the United States of America. Lakshmi Pichai was a stenographer. She would transcribe speeches in shorthand. Later, Sundar Pichai’s father started a manufacturing plant to produce various electrical components. R.S. Pichai’s profession might have encouraged Sundar to pursue engineering. Sundar Pichai’s maternal grandmother, Ranganayaki, says that her grandson always preferred work over play.
Sundar Pichai was fond of cricket. But he would never let his interests in sports meddle with his academics. As a child, Sundar Pichai was called Rajesh by his family. He liked science and mathematics. He only had a few friends and was more focused on his work. Sundar Pichai’s principal does not remember his time in school but surely knows about his great endeavors today. Another student Sankara had an academic rivalry with Pichai, as stated by one of their professors. Sankara is currently working as a professor at IIT Madras. After finishing his matriculation examinations in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sundar Pichai moved to a school that was inside the IIT Madras campus. It was called the Vana Vani School. The school staff does not remember him much as it has been 25 years since.
All the teachers who taught him have retired. After finishing his 12th standard examinations, Sundar Pichai cracked the JEE examination and bagged a seat at IIT Kharagpur. He studied metallurgical engineering at the college. After completing his bachelor’s degree, Sundar Pichai went abroad for further education. He looked at Stanford to get a degree in Masters in science in materials science and engineering. Here, he was named a Siebel Scholar. Sundar Pichai proceeded to get an MBA at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. At Wharton, Sundar Pichai was named a Palmer Scholar. Sundar Pichai’s family says that he’s a loving person who respects the members of his family. He is deeply adored and spoken well of by all the members as well as the people of his hometown.
After completing his education, Sundar Pichai started working at McKinsey & Company.McKinsey & Company is an American management consultant firm. It is one of the largest and oldest consultant firms. Pichai worked at the Company as an engineer and product manager in applied materials as well as in management consulting. After working at McKinsey & Company, Pichai started working at another big company. In 2004, Sundar Pichai joined Google. He was in charge of product management and innovation efforts for Google’s software products. This included Google Chrome, the web browser, and Chrome O.S. Chrome O.S. is an operating system. Besides, it also included Google Drive, Google’s cloud storage. Sundar Pichai was sent to also check on the development of some other applications by Google. These included Gmail and Google Maps.
Soon, in 2009, Pichai was supposed to give a demonstration on Chrome O.S.Immediately after this, Chromebook was released. Chromebook is a device that runs on the Chrome O.S.Chromebook was finally released in 2012. In 2010, Sundar Pichai also introduced WebM. It is a media audio format sponsored by Google. After overseeing all these Google products, Sundar Pichai managed Android. It is an operating system used in phones. It was formerly managed by Andy Rubin. In 2015, Sundar Pichai was selected to become the next CEO of Google. Before this position, he was appointed as Product Chief by then CEO Larry Page. He also was responsible for Alphabet Inc., a new company of the Google family. Sundar Pichai was also allowed to become the CEO of Microsoft. The position was then given to Satya Nadella.
In 2017, Sundar Pichai gained publicity. He fired an employee who had written a manifesto of ten pages. The manifesto criticized the company policies to encourage women to become part of technical jobs. The employee believed that biological causes resulted in men being preferred over women in these roles. Pichai thought that the manifesto was offensive and sexist. In 2017, Sundar Pichai became a speaker at the World Internet Conference in China. He spoke about how small Chinese companies benefited due to Google products by getting their products outside China. Soon in December 2019, Sundar Pichai became the CEO of Alphabet Inc.Pichai delivered another speech at Singapore FinTech Festival. The speech was delivered virtually because of the coronavirus outbreak. He spoke about the digital economy. He emphasized the growing use of the internet because of the pandemic. He also mentioned that many countries are still not able to provide an internet connection to all individuals. Pichai said that his goal was to make the internet accessible to everyone.
Love for Technology
As a young man, Sundar Pichai had to make regular trips to a hospital to collect his mother’s test blood reports. It would take him an hour and twenty minutes by bus. After reaching the location, he would wait in the queue for another hour. The first telephone Pichai saw was at the age of 12. His parents bought a rotatory telephone home. It was after this purchase that Sundar Pichai could make a call to the hospital using this telephone. It would still take at least 10 minutes to make a phone call using this antique device. When he would call, he would often be responded with a message saying the report isn’t ready yet. Pichai also recalls the time when his family bought a refrigerator. His mother didn’t need to cook daily anymore as she could keep the leftovers in the refrigerator and spend more time with her family.
Growing up, Sundar Pichai had a lot of experiences that made him fall in love with technology and how it made his life easier. Pichai announced a major shift in his Company. The shift of moving from “mobile-first” to “artificial intelligence.” This is an attempt to create products like voice recognition products that answer to our voices and take verbal requests. You could change the song as well as turn the lights off in your room using artificial intelligence. Using Google Lens, a computer looks at the text just the way a human does. If you point your camera at a restaurant, it will give you reviews. This has been the target of Sundar Pichai, to make technology widespread and incorporate it into our daily lives. Pichai aims to make his Company global. He does not want his products and services to be limited to some regions.
He wants the whole world to experience how beautiful and convenient technology can prove to be. He also aims to make the mobile operating system, Android, so cheap that it can become the O.S. of a 30-dollar mobile phone. Sundar Pichai’s success began with Chrome. At that time, Internet Explorer was the mighty browser used on every computer. Even when Pichai showed the browser to the founders, Larry and Sergey, the response was not completely positive. But Pichai made sure Chrome was released, and it soon dominated the market. It took over Internet Explorer, which is currently working on less than 16% of devices. Another success story of Pichai is the popularity of Android. It boomed after the CEO of Android was replaced with Sundar Pichai.
Sundar Pichai has come from humble beginnings. When Sundar Pichai received a scholarship to study abroad, his father spent a year’s salary on his plane ticket. This was the first time Pichai was traveling in a plane. He remembers the experience quite well. The phone calls he made back home were unaffordable. A minute of conversation cost him more than 2 dollars. He also stated that his backpack alone cost the same in the U.S. as his father’s monthly salary. He would proceed to buy used backpacks instead of these expensive ones. His house was not lavish. He lived with tenants, and Sundar would sleep on the living room floor of his house along with his younger brother. Pichai stuck to his roots and did not let his son have a phone as a kid. But he surely is into cryptocurrency and mines Ethereum. Pichai says he is in awe of how technology works. His son is not allowed to use a phone but earns money by investing in cryptocurrency. He also disciplines his children concerning watching T.V.
Even in college, Sundar Pichai did not have much. He lived in a very small flat with no television. He had no car. Since he did not have many luxuries, he valued the importance of small things in his life. Like every other middle-class individual, he would travel in buses. His father had a blue scooter, and that was the only other means of travel. His father had saved for three years to buy this scooter for an easier life for Sundar and his brother. Pichai, his parents, and his younger brother would pile up on that small scooter. Despite the financial crisis, Pichai’s parents always made sure to spend well on their children’s education. They would spend all their savings to let their children grab the opportunities they had. While dating his girlfriend, Anjali, Sundar did not have a phone back then, let alone a smartphone. He would send another girl to the girl’s hostel and request her to call Anjali. The girl would often go to the hostel and shout out loud that Sundar was there to meet Anjali. It was embarrassing for him, but he did not have much choice. Even after Sundar went to the United States, he couldn’t speak to Anjali for six months! This was because of his financial struggles. Today, his current net worth is googled by people. Though he is a millionaire, Sundar likes to live a modest and humble life.
Sundar Pichai is married to Anjali Pichai and has two children. Anjali Pichai is a business analyst and a manager. Anjali was Sundar’s girlfriend since his college days at IIT Kharagpur. The two were classmates and, initially, just friends. Sundar proposed to Anjali in the final year of college, and she accepted the proposal. Sundar would make calls through an STD during those days. After college, Sundar had to leave India and go to the United States for further education. Anjali stayed in India. The two did not talk much during this time. They didn’t speak to each other for six months! This was because Sundar was not yet financially stable and could not come in contact with his girlfriend. Later, Anjali also went to the United States. After securing a decent job, Sundar Pichai got married to Anjali. Before getting married, Sundar also asked for permission from Anjali’s parents.
It was Anjali who advised Sundar not to become the CEO of Microsoft. The decision proved lucky as today he’s the CEO of one of the biggest tech companies. Sundar and his wife live in the United States at Los Altos Hills. The couple has a daughter, Kavya, and a son, Kiran. Sundar Pichai is an avid follower of sports, especially football and cricket. He likes the club F.C. Barcelona and watches their every game. Sundar Pichai is also a fan of the cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, the master blaster. While in school, Sundar Pichai was the captain of the cricket team, and his team would often win various competitions. Sundar Pichai is often called friendly, humble, and helpful by his peers. He still is in contact with his college friends and catches up with them on Skype frequently. If he goes to his home country, he also visits his college and school and interacts with the students to share his experiences.
As a boss, Pichai’s employees call Sundar supportive and empathetic. He is an efficient leader who works towards achieving cooperation among his employees. Pichai has also mentioned that the celebrity talk show, Koffee with Karan is his absolute favorite. Pichai tries to maintain distance from political matters and does not speak over such issues. However, Pichai fired an employee for writing a manifesto that was discriminatory towards women. He also posted a tweet in solidarity with George Floyd over his unjust killing. Thus, Sundar Pichai is strongly against gender or racial discrimination.
Criticism and Backlash
In 2018 December, the United States House Judiciary Committee questioned Google on a range of issues. The Committee believed that Google had political bias on its platforms and stole its user’s confidential and sensitive data. Google was also accused of making plans for a censored search app in China. Sundar Pichai gave a response refuting the allegations. He said that Google and its employees could not influence any kind of search results. So Google did not have a political bias, and thus, it could not affect users towards any political agenda. Pichai also stated that users could easily opt out of their data collection by Google. He also disagreed with the alleged claims of a Chinese censored app. In October 2020, the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation voted to subpoena Sundar Pichai. The decision also included subpoenaing the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey. The trio was to testify over various concerns of exemption from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1934. The law, according to the allegations, protects these companies against censorship. Facebook did not comment on the issue, while Twitter and Google responded for some time.
An Artificial Intelligence Researcher, Timnit Gebru, was fired over an academic paper. She was known for showing how face determination algorithms worked better with white faces than black or brown faces. Timnit co-authored a paper that called out various ethical issues regarding technology. Timnit was asked to remove the names of the employees in her research paper. She refused the request, due to which she was fired. The incident became popular on social media where former employees said that she was fired for speaking against the discrimination faced in the Company by people of color. Sundar Pichai commented on the incident and said he was sorry. He apologized to the employees for the departure of a black woman who was excellent in her field. He also took full responsibility for the incident. While standing against the incident of George Floyd’s Killing, Pichai was slammed by Indians on the internet. Indians said that Sundar spoke against discrimination in the United States but failed to do the same for Indians. Apart from tweeting, there was a message in his memory on the Google, YouTube, and Alphabet homepage. Twitter users especially spoke about the killing of a Dalit in India and criticized Pichai for not showing solidarity and blamed him for hypocrisy.
This summary taught you everything you needed to know about Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai! You read about his humble beginnings and his life in India. You read about his family and his deep love for technology since his childhood. You also read about his love life and his marriage. This summary explained to you in detail how Sundar moved to the United States and his journey to becoming the CEO of one of the largest companies in the world! You learned about his personal life, his struggles, his financial crisis, and his motivation to be at the top!