“I’m An American Citizen, But India Is Deeply Within Me”: Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently said in an interview with BBC, “India is deeply within me, a big part of who I am”. Pichai was born in Tamil Nadu and grew up in Chennai. 

The pandemic has caused much devastation in India, with several people losing their lives to the virus. At a time like this, Pichai has said that the condition in India has deeply affected him emotionally. 

At the BBC interview at the Google headquarters at Silicon Valley in California, interviewer Amol Rajan asked Pichai questions on a wide range of topics. Among other questions, he asked Pichai about the last time he had cried. To this, Pichai answered: “Seeing the morgue trucks parked around the world during COVID. And seeing what’s happened in India over the past month.” 

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This is not the first time that Pichai has expressed his love for India. In an interview with Guardian earlier in 2017, Pichai had said that he wished to go back to India one day and “give back” to the country. 

Asked about his roots, Pichai answered, “I’m an American citizen, but India is deeply within me. So it’s a big part of who I am.” 

“When I was young, every new piece of technology brought new opportunities to learn and grow. But I always had to wait for it to arrive from someplace else. Today, people in India no longer have to wait for technology to come to you. A whole new generation of technologies are happening in India first,” he said. 

Talking about the controversial issue of tax, Pichai said: “We are one of the world’s largest taxpayers, if you look at on an average over the last decade, we have paid over 20 per cent in taxes.” 

“We do pay the majority of our share of taxes in the US, where we originate and where our products are developed. I think there are good conversations and we support the global OECD conversations figuring out what is the right way to allocate taxes, this is beyond a single company to solve,” he added. 

In the course of the interview, Pichai went on to encourage people to adopt “two-factor authentication” when it comes to passwords, which would ensure multiple protections. He talked about how he is constantly changing his phone to test out new technology. 

“The only thing that got me from here to there other than luck was a deep passion for technology, and an open mind,” Pichai said. 

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