Pichai gets rockstar welcome at IIT-Kharagpur

Grand homecoming

Pichai gets rockstar welcome at IIT-Kharagpur

Google CEO Sundar Pichai got a rockstar welcome on his visit to his alma mater, IIT-Kharagpur, after 23 years.

There was no doubt left on the chilly morning at the open air theatre on Thursday that the Google CEO is possibly the most prominent alumnus of the premier engineering school, which has produced some of India’s top technocrats.

Usually shy, even Pichai could not have missed out the electric atmosphere.
It was easy to see that Pichai, who graduated from IIT-Kharagpur in 1993, armed with a degree in metallurgical engineering, was enjoying every moment as around 3,500 students hung on to his words, laughed at every joke and bid him adieu with a
thunderous applause.

For the Google CEO it was a day to connect with the next generation of tech superstars.
He dealt with a variety of questions from how to get a job in Google to his GPA score, and he replied to each one with the same calm and poise. Pichai joked how the dorm where he stayed “looks exactly the same”.

He also noted how the Kharagpur station has changed since it now has Wi-Fi. The Chennai-born Pichai also joked about how he thought ‘abbe sale’ was a greeting and not an abuse.

Pichai recounted how he met his wife, Anjali, while at IIT, but pointed out how every time he went to meet her at the girls’ hostel, access to which was hard, the trip would be somewhat embarrassing as someone would stand outside and shout loudly, “Anjali, Sundar is here for you”.

Wishing that he had a smartphone back then, Pichai said, “Technology, especially the mobile phone, has reshaped the world…Clearly, the progress has been phenomenal.” Pichai also talked of how hard it was to get into IIT, adding that like all students he also bunked classes.

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