Sundar Pichai’s Journey from a middle class Indian to Becoming the CEO of ‘Alphabet’ is an Inspiring one!

On Tuesday Dec 3rd, 2019 it was announced that the founders of Google and now Alphabet, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, will step aside from their CEO and President roles respectively and have paved a way for Sundar Pichai to take the throne of this mammoth tech giant called Alphabet.

In the tech world it was very much a surprising fact that why suddenly would both give up their top spots to vacate the seats for the Google’s CEO? There are many answers to this question. One being that Larry and Brin are both highly innovative folks in the Valley and thus wanted to focus more on the technological and innovation aspect of their company than getting their hands dirty in the business side of it. 

Secondly, many of the Alphabet’s projects are under the sharp eyes of many governments from all over the world, including Google, which is going through a problematic state since a couple of years. To have a calm, intelligent and crisis handler kind of a person as the face of the organization and to exclude themselves from this mess, both must have decided to step aside to not to face any sort of allegations whatsoever.

Keeping aside all the controversies Google is going through, we shall try to know what Alphabet is. Alphabet is a multinational conglomerate which was founded to separate out the cutting edge research from their other products. Until Dec 3, Larry Page was the CEO of Alphabet and Sergey Brin was its President. But now as we know, Sundar Pichai has been appointed as the CEO of Alphabet. Google, Google X, Google Capital, Verlily, Calico, Nest are just a few major companies which are a part of the umbrella under Alphabet.

Talking about Sundar Pichai then his journey from Chennai to Alphabet is an inspiration for all. Sundar Pichai was born in Madurai, also referred to as the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu. After his initial schooling which happened in Chennai, he went out to study Metallurgical Engineering at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) and secured a silver medal at the department. This intelligent mind of his was never meant to work a small desk job. So, by the recommendations from his professors and with the stellar academic records, he set out towards the land of opportunities, the USA. In one of his interviews he has mentioned that his father had to spend almost all of his savings just for a ticket to the United States. Mr. Pichai then got into Stanford’s Department of Engineering to study his masters in Material Sciences where he was named as the ‘Seibel Scholar’. 

Later on he was accepted into the world renowned MBA program at Wharton University, Pennsylvania where he again emerged as a brilliant management student since he was selected as the ‘Palmer Scholar’ by the school.

Before joining Google, Pichai worked at McKinsey in the Applied Materials and Management consultancy department. Later on in 2004, he struck the opportunity to join Google, which he eventually joined, where he was soon leading the product management and innovation efforts for a suite of Google’s client software products, including Google Chrome and Chrome OS, as well as being largely responsible for Google Drive. 

Apart from all of his roles, he is considered as a very calm person with high morals and values and that’s the reason he was always favored than his counterparts. His successful efforts to run some of the most difficult and ambitious projects at Google and his management vision made a significant impact on the company and its people. He hired, trained and retained some of the best folks out there from the market and thus as a product manager he was pretty successful in creating great teams who worked for the better visions Google as an organization had. Changing the company culture, handling policies, taking risks and building the best relations made him the best pick for the Chief Executive at Google.

Here I specifically recall his interview at SRCC, Delhi with Harsha Bhogle (a fine Cricket commentator from India) where he stated that, “Failures should not be hidden rather they should be embraced and worn as a badge of honor.” The culture in the western countries such as the United States is such that it helps and accepts people who fail and which is a very important quality which should be imbibed cause after all failures make you strong from the inside and lets you keep pushing your own boundaries.

Now, after being the Google CEO for almost five long years, he has been chosen as the Alphabet CEO which is a job of immense responsibilities and pressures. But after all, the choice which Page and Brin have made is something which they know will definitely work in the long run thus making Sundar Pichai an inspiration for many across the world!

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