Cricket and pizza making for this global tech CEO

Published: Tuesday, March 16, 2021

No one can deny the pandemic has accelerated the need for more digitalization and smart technologies in all sectors, including the air cargo industry.

And whether you’re a student, a bored housewife, a businessman, a glamorous celebrity, an employee, a chef, an athlete or business executives working for top companies, the internet is a lifeline we all turn to for information. And search engine Google is on top of our list.

Widely known for digital advertising technologies, a search engine, cloud computing, software and hardware, Google has been part of our lives since the late 1990s and it’s going to play an even bigger role in the future in the digital world and economy.

Sundar Pichai, the Chennai-born Indian-American CEO of Google and Alphabet Inc., Google’s multibillion parent company, said their top goal in the post-COVID era is to address the global digital divide by making sure that the benefits of technology reach even the farthest shores on the planet with about 1.7 billion people still no access to the internet.

“Growing up in India, I didn’t have much access to a computer, or a phone. To make a call, I had to wait in long lines to use a shared phone with everyone else,” Pichai shared while speaking at Singapore FinTech Festival held last December.

With his background, anything that promotes common good holds value. “So when our family finally got our first rotary phone, it changed our lives for the better, and it set me on a course to help bring technology to more people around the world.”

“Our goal for the post-Covid world is to ensure the benefits of technology can be shared, as widely and equitably as possible. If we can do that, 2020 will be remembered not as the end of the world, but the beginning of a world that works better for everyone,” noted Pichai who was tapped as Google’s CEO in 2015. He has been with the company since 2004.

An engineering graduate of India’s IIT Kharagpur, Pichai also has M.S. in materials science and engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

As CEO of giant tech companies, Pichai, who has a knack with numbers, is highly regarded for his leadership skills, innovative ideas, mild temper and humility despite his enormous success in the corporate world.

Pichai says he played cricket in high school. And he still plays the sport when there’s an opportunity. And most recently, he picked up new skills from YouTube—making pizza.

“I made pizza last week from scratch, thanks to some YouTube (an Alphabet company) cooking video. It turned out okay,” Pichai told The Verge.

As he puts it, “A person who is happy is not because everything is right in his life, he is happy because his attitude towards everything in his life is right.”