[Throwback] When Padma Bhushan Sundar Pichai talked about his humble house in Chennai; said ‘we would sleep on the floor’ | News Bharat

Sundar Pichai

[Throwback] When Padma Bhushan Sundar Pichai talked about his humble house in Chennai; said ‘we would sleep on the floor’

Photo: BCCL

New Delhi: The Indian-origin Google CEO was awarded the Padma Bhushan by Taranjit Singh Sandhu, India’s ambassador to the US, in San Francisco on Friday. Born in Madurai, Pichai received the country’s third-highest civilian honor in the presence of close family members. On being honored with the 3rd Indian Civilian Award, he said, “India is a part of me and I carry it with me wherever I go.”

Although he can be counted among the most recognized CEOs in the world, Pichai had a humble beginning and he too slept on the floor like many Indians. Years ago, the 50-year-old spoke in an interview about his life in Chennai, which was uniquely “simple”.

Pichai’s humble life in Chennai

Speaking about his “humble house” in the Indian city, Pichai revealed that his family didn’t have a refrigerator, but growing up in India was still “beautiful compared to today’s world.” Pichai said so because despite the lack of funds to buy even basic things like a refrigerator, people “never felt the lack of anything.”

“We lived in a kind of humble house that we shared with tenants. We slept on the living room floor. When I was growing up there was a drought, we had anxiety. Even now I can never sleep without a bottle of water next to my bed. Other houses they had refrigerators and then we finally got it. It was a big deal,” the IIT-Kharagpur alumni said during an interview with the New York Times.

Pichai, who joined Google in 2004, became the company’s CEO in 2015. He holds a BS in Metallurgical Engineering and an MS in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

During his childhood in Chennai, Pichai read everything he could get his hands on. He summed up his life in India as – “friends, playing street cricket, reading books”.

The Google boss also recalled the first time he traveled by plane after enrolling at Stanford University. “Coming in and just having these labs where you had access to computers and could program was a big thing for me. I was so wrapped up in it that to some extent I didn’t understand that there was a much bigger shift that was happening with the Internet ,” he told the publication.

Pichai awarded Padma Bhushan

Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, who was one of the 17 Padma Bhushan awardees announced earlier this year, has been honored with India’s 3rd highest civilian award in the commerce and industry category. The Google CEO, who was born in Madurai, India, was presented with the award by Taranjit Singh Sandhu, India’s ambassador to the US.

Pichai was presented with the country’s third-highest civilian honor on Friday in San Francisco in the presence of his immediate family members. Expressing his joy at being recognized by his homeland, Pichai said: “It’s incredibly important that the country that shaped me shows me this way”.

“I was fortunate to grow up in a family that valued learning and knowledge, with parents who made great sacrifices to ensure that I had the opportunity to explore my interests,” Pichai said.

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