How Sundar Pichai made a journey from being a middle-class student to the CEO of Alphabet Inc. (parent company of Google), is an inspiration for all those who want to achieve their dreams irrespective of circumstances.
Sundar’s story is no less than a Bollywood movie in which a boy born without any silver spoon in his mouth grows up to hold the most coveted positions in the world through his hard work.
As a child, Sundar might not have been blessed with the best facilities in the world, but his dedication and persistence are unparalleled.
Pichai was born in Chennai to a middle-class family. His mother worked as a stenographer before becoming a full-time mother whereas his father was an electrical engineer and managed a factory that made electrical components.
While sharing the details about Sunder’s early childhood days, his father, Regunatha Pichai, once shared,
“I used to come home and talk to him a lot about my workday and the challenges I faced. Even at a young age, he was curious about my work. I think it really attracted to him to technology.”
Though Sundar is today worth 600 Million USD, during much of his childhood, he neither had a television or a car. The family of four lived in a two-room apartment, with Sundar and his younger brother sleeping in the living room.
For transportation, he either had to choose the crowded stifling city buses or the family’s blue Lambretta scooter. While Regunatha would drive the scooter, Sundar standing at the front, and his younger brother perched on the back of the seat with their mother.
Sunder was 12 when the family got their first telephone. Being brilliant as Sundar was, he could remember every number ever dialed. In one of his interviews, Sunder mentioned:
“My uncle would call up and say, ‘Hey, I lost this phone number, but you once helped me dial it,’ and I would be able to tell him. I wasn’t so sure that was useful.”
Given his intellect, no wonder that Pichai won a coveted spot at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, where he studied engineering. After graduating from IIT, he got a scholarship to Stanford University. Though it wasn’t easy for his family to make this decision as the ticket to the USA cost his father more than his annual salary, but still, they sent Sundar to the USA.
After getting a degree from Stanford, Sundar received an MBA degree from Wharton School of Business and then started his career by working as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co in America. Post, which he joined Google as a product manager.
How Sundar has come a long way from his middle-class childhood to the most coveted position in one of the world’s largest companies is not only inspiration but also a great reminder of how our dreams are much bigger than our circumstances.
At IFORHER, we wish Sundar Pichai for great next innings and hope his story will inspire many young girls and boys to believe in their dreams irrespective of what circumstances they are born with.