Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai said his father spent a year’s worth of salary on his son's first flight ticket to the US. Pichai narrated the story while addressing YouTube's Dear Class of 2020 virtual graduation ceremony.
Pichai said it was also the first time he sat on an aeroplane when he left for Stanford for his studies. While revealing his humble background, Pichai also said he is where he is due to his passion for technology and open-mindedness.
The virtual ceremony of ‘Dear Class of 2020’ was held on YouTube. Notable personalities like former US President Barack Obama, his wife and ex-first lady of the US Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Malala Yousafzai, South Korean K-Pop group BTS attended the event.
Acknowledging the fact that students may be grieving over the plans they had made, or the job offers they might have lost, Pichai urged students to not lose hope and impatience, as they could have a chance to change everything. Giving examples of students who graduated during the 1920 Spanish Flu, the Vietnam War and the batch of 2001, Pichai said the current batch will prevail.
"There are probably things about technology that frustrate you and make you impatient. Don’t lose that impatience. It will create the next technology revolution and enable you to build things my generation could never dream of. You may be just as frustrated by my generation's approach to climate change, or education. Be impatient. It will create the progress the world needs," he said.
He credits passion for tech and an open mind, apart from luck, for where he is today. “Believe me when I say I saw none of this coming when I first touched down in the state of California,” Pichai said.
Pichai joined Google in 2004 and is credited majorly for his contribution to Google Toolbar and Chrome. He also worked later on Android, and in 2015, was announced as the CEO of Google.