Sundar Pichai on the Padma Bhushan award, why he is optimistic about India and more


Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai received the Padma Bhushan — the highest civilian honour given by India — from India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sindhu. Soon, after receiving the honour, Pichai penned his thoughts on the award, how India shaped him, why he is optimistic about tech and India, and more. Here is what he said:
On the Padma Bhushan award
“I am deeply grateful to the Indian government and the people of India for this immense honour. It is incredibly meaningful to be honoured in this way by the country that shaped me,” said Pichai. He also said that he carries India with him wherever he goes as it is a part of him.
On returning to India
“It’s been so amazing to return to India many times over the years to see the rapid pace of technological change. Increasingly the innovations created in India are benefitting people around the world — from digital payments to voice technology, he said.
On why he is believes India “can and must continue to lead”
Citing the example of a Google Translate feature where 24 new languages were added — eight of them native to those in India, Pichai said “it means so much to see how people can access information and knowledge in their preferred language, and see the world open up to them in new ways.”
Which is why he said that he continues to be “so optimistic about technology, and why I believe India can and must continue to lead.”
He further said that he sees so much opportunity ahead. “Next year, India will take over leadership of the G20. It’s an amazing opportunity to build consensus on strengthening the global economy by advancing an internet that is open, connected, secure, and works for everyone, a goal we share.”
The Google CEO also added that he looks forward to continuing the great partnership between Google and India, “as we work together to bring the benefits of technology to more people.”
On Google’s continued investment in India
Pichai said he is proud that Google continues to invest in India, partnering with governments, businesses and communities over two transformative decades. Google recently announced that it will be investing $10 billion in India’s digital future “working to enable more affordable internet access, building products for India’s unique needs, helping businesses of all sizes in their digital transformation, and using AI to tackle big societal challenges.”



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