On Wednesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai visited his alma mater, IIT-Kharagpur in India. Answering questions from students, Pichai recalled his old school days, shared some thoughtful advice and discussed his hopes for the future. More than 3,500 students and guests attended the event and livestreamed it on Google and YouTube.
Check out these six tidbits that Pichai revealed during his Q&A at IIT-K.
1. He met his wife in college.
Pichai and his wife, Anjali, were classmates at IIT-K. Pichai recalls his days in college — a time before the advent of smartphones — when he had to walk over to the girls’s hostel, speak to someone at the front desk and request that someone call Anjali and let her know he was waiting for her. “They’d go in and loudly say, ‘Anjali, Sundar is here,’” recalls Pichai.
2. He’s too embarrassed to share his college GPA.
When asked by a student what his GPA was at IIT-K, the Google CEO replied that he was too embarrassed to admit his first-year grades. While he claimed he did much better the following three years, he still didn’t share any numbers
3. He thought Gmail was an April Fool’s joke.
Pichai interviewed at Google on April 1 — April Fool’s Day — in 2004. At that time, Google had just launched Gmail, but it was “invitation only.”
“I remember doing my interviews during the day and people kept asking me, ‘What do you think of Gmail?’” Pichai said, “but I didn’t have a chance to use it and I thought it was an April Fool’s joke.”
4. He spends his free time with his kids — or watching cricket and soccer.
Pichai has two children — a 13-year-old and a 9-year-old. If he’s not spending his time outside of the office with his family or friends, he can likely be found watching a game of cricket or soccer.
5. Narayana Murthy is one of his idols.
Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy is one of Pichai’s idols. “I admire people like that who put India on the map,” he told the audience.
6. Deepika Padukone is his favorite Bollywood actress.
When asked by the host who his favorite Bollywood actress is, Pichai replied Deepika Padukone. Padukone is a famous Indian actress well-known for roles in Bollywood hits such as Chennai Express and Housefull.