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2000+ students at SRCC cheer to some inspiring answers by Sundar Pichai during #AskSundar

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It’s not very usual to see a crowd of over two thousand students rising up in unison to applaud to the simplicity of one man.

Today at SRCC, the CEO of Google, Mr. Sundararajan Pichai addressed a gathering of students from schools, college-goers and corporates. The man of the hour, Mr. Pichai was greeted with enthralling energy and enthusiasm. The event was hosted by the renowned commentator, Harsha Bhogle.

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Mr. Bhogle introduced the CEO by calling the ‘Techies as the Rockstars of the new age’. They started off by talking about his early days in the not-so-fancy hostel room of IIT Kharagpur and how difficult it was to stay connected with the world in the pre-Internet era. Talking about the work space in Google, Mr. Pichai recounted that back in 2004 he felt like ‘a kid in a candy store’ with so much going around him. He also said Google is more of a balanced space where work essentially meets fun. “Everyone out here wants to be you Sundar”, said Harsha. To which Mr. Sundar said, “One must do something they’re excited by. We all have many opportunities to reinvent ourselves, and we should keep on trying. In silicon valley, people start their own companies and even if they fail, they wear it as a badge of honour.” He emphasised the importance of taking risk!

He also said that he’s an ardent fan of football and follows Barcelona every now and then. His favourite player is Messi (which did upset the Ronaldo fans!). While he was young he would wake up in the middle of the night to watch matches, driving his mom crazy. The students got a chance to ask questions from Mr. Pichai too. One of the girls asked if he ever felt incompetent working with the more talented people of the company. To which he humbly said that it’s always great to work with people who know better than you because insecurity pushes you forward in life.

When asked about how his vision for Google is different from that of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, he replied that they all share a lot in common. Google has given flight to a lot of things and he wishes to make technology the one stop solution to every problem. He also said that India is an amazingly vast land where trends of future emerge and they are now investing a lot more here than before.

A video question came asking him why Android version names are not named after Indian desserts, to which he laughingly said that they’ll keep that in mind next time they launch another version. The session ended with a rapid fire round where Harsha asked Pichai about his 12th standard percentage. The CEO said in a witty manner that it wasn’t enough to get him into SRCC.

Before the arrival of Mr. Pichai, there was a performance by the drummers group D’Frens who made the whole audience play their drums in the Mexican wave fashion with their infectious energy. Another band of six vocalists from Mumbai, Raga Tripping entertained the audience by producing music without any instruments.

All and all the event was on a hugely grand scale with Google being the perfect host. The Starwars headsets goodies for all left the audience a bit too happy.

So did you ‘Ask Sundar’?

Tanya Agarwal

[email protected]

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