In a free-wheeling conversation with students of Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) Thursday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai talked about the importance of taking risks and working with people “who make you insecure”.
“I think creativity is an important attribute. Today, the country values academic knowledge over creativity. In USA, learning is very experiential, people learn to do stuff by doing them. It is important to allow that kind of system, where there is creativity and people learn to do things. It is also important to teach students to take risks,” he said.
The chief of Google also encouraged students to work with people they felt insecure with.
“I would encourage you to work with people you are insecure with because that means you are working with people who are better than you. If you are secure, it means you are comfortable,” he added.
Talking about what he would have done if he was not the head of Google, the Chennai-born CEO said he would still be creating software.
“(If not at Google), I would have taken up football or cricket. As a child, I loved watching cricket. Gavaskar was my favourite cricketer. On a serious note, I loved technology even as a child…I think I would still be building software products,” he said.
On the way forward for Google in the next 30 years, Pichai said he was hopeful that the company would still be working on products to solve problems for the whole of humanity. He added that this ethos of helping humanity with technology was the reason he was drawn to the technology giant in the first place.
The session also had its share of lighter moments. When asked how much he had scored in his Class XII exam, Pichai responded, “Not enough to get into SRCC, definitely”.
Asked how many phones he owned, the CEO said, “I probably shouldn’t be telling anyone this, but I own 20-30 smartphones,” drawing some laughter from the audience.
The CEO also spoke about connecting more women to the Internet.
“Most women in rural India think that the Internet is for their husbands or sons. The most important thing we can do is to help get these women online. Through our plan, 3,00,000 villages will be connected to internet in the next few years. It will also help us have more women developers,” he said.