Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella have received the Padma Bhushan in the trade and industry category
Others to have been conferred Padma Awards in the trade and industry category include Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran, Bharat Biotech’s Krishna and Suchitra Ella and Serum Institute’s Cyrus Poonawalla
Last year, venerable tech entrepreneurs Zoho’s Sridhar Vembu Info Edge’s Sanjeev Bikhchandani were honoured with Padma Shri awards for their contribution to trade and industry
Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella have been conferred the Padma Bhushan — India’s third-highest civilian award given for distinguished service of a high order.
This year the President has approved the conferment of 128 Padma Awards — 4 Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 107 Padma Shri Awards.
According to the government notification issued ahead of India’s 73rd Republic Day, Pichai and Nadella have received the Padma Awards in the trade and industry category.
Indian-born Nadella, 54, has worked at Microsoft for 30 years. Born in Hyderabad of present-day Telangana, Nadella did his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology in Karnataka. He later travelled to the US to study for a master’s in computer science at the University of Wisconsin. In 1997, he received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Nadella is also attributed to the acquisition of Mojang, a Swedish game company best known for the computer game Minecraft, followed by Xamarin and later LinkedIn and GitHub. Since he succeeded Steve Balmer in 2014 as Microsoft CEO, the company’s revenue has grown on an average of 20% year over year (YoY).
Nadella’s appointment as Microsoft CEO was the starting of Indian-born executives leading big tech companies.
In 2015, Google appointed Indian-born Sundar Pichai as the company’s CEO. Later in 2017, as Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page decided to step down, Pichai also became the CEO of Google parent company Alphabet Inc.
Pichai is an IIT Kharagpur alum, who completed his bachelor’s in metallurgical engineering. He moved to the US to get masters from Stanford University in materials science and engineering. Later, he received an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Pichai, 49, joined Google way back in 2004 and has been the man behind many products including Google Chrome and the Chrome OS. He has also been instrumental in overseeing the development of different Google apps such as Maps, Drive, Gmail. He was also behind Google’s Android project and the new video format WebM.
The Padma Bhushan awardees, while working for prominent American companies, have considered India instrumental in their companies’ growth stories.
For instance, post-Pichai’s appointment as CEO, Google began investing in Indian startups and SMEs. He also brought the Google For India initiative and the tech giant invested in the country’s internet and internet companies via a partnership with Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio.
Similarly, post his appointment, Nadella-led Microsoft also followed the suit, investing in India’s growth story backing Indian conglomerates Tata Group as Reliance, hospitality giant OYO and also partnering with Invest India to back Indian startups.
Nadella, in his personal capacity, also recently invested in the Indian fintech startup Groww.
Others to have been conferred Padma Awards in the trade and industry category include Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran, Bharat Biotech’s Krishna and Suchitra Ella and Serum Institute’s Cyrus Poonawalla.
A big congrats to both from Team Inc42!
Last year, venerable tech entrepreneurs Zoho’s Sridhar Vembu Info Edge’s Sanjeev Bikhchandani were honoured with Padma Shri awards — the fourth-highest civilian award of India for their contribution to trade and industry.
Update | The previous version of the story indicated that Microsoft had invested in the social platform Sharechat. The investment was in preliminary talks and as per the tech giant, didn’t materialise.