Sundar Pichai (right) receiving the Padma Bhushan award from India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu
Google looks forward to a “great partnership” with India as it works together to bring the benefits of technology to more people, Alphabet chief executive officer Sundar Pichai said on Friday upon receiving the Padma Bhushan award from the Indian envoy to the US.
The innovations created in India benefit people worldwide, from digital payments to voice technology, Pichai added.
Pichai was awarded the Padma Bhushan for 2022 in the Trade and Industry category, and was one of the 17 awardees earlier this year.
He received India’s third-highest civilian award in the presence of family members in San Francisco on Friday.
“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,” 50-year-old Pichai said while accepting the award from India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu.
“Prime Minister Modi’s Digital India vision has certainly been an accelerator for that progress and I’m proud that Google continues to invest in India, partnering with governments, businesses, and communities over two transformative decades,” he said. “Businesses are seizing the opportunities for digital transformation, and more people have access to the internet than ever before, including in rural villages.”
Pichai said he sees immense opportunity ahead.
Further, he said with India taking over the G20 presidency, it was “an amazing opportunity to build consensus on strengthening the global economy by advancing an internet that is open, connected, secure, and works for everyone”.
He added: “That’s a goal we share, and are committed to advancing with you.”
This year, Google added 24 new languages to its translation service using a new advancement in machine learning, eight of which are native to India.
“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. That’s why I continue to be so optimistic about technology, and why I believe India can and must continue to lead,” he said.
He went on to say that India is a part of him that he carries with him wherever he goes. Pichai said he was fortunate to grow up in a family that cherished learning and knowledge, with parents who sacrificed a lot to make sure he had opportunities to explore his interests.