Google CEO Sundar Pichai has a welcome message for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in New York on Thursday 24 September, marking his second visit to the US since he assumed power. The Indian-born executive posted a video on YouTube conveying the tremendous excitement among Googlers and others in the US regarding his visit.
"It is an honour to welcome PM Narendra Modi to Silicon Valley this weekend. The bond between India and Silicon Valley has been strong as India has been an exporter of talent to tech companies. Products built by Indian graduates from IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) and other institutes have revolutionised the world," Pichai said.
In the video, Pichai also appreciated the Indian prime minister's efforts on the Digital India initiative saying it was a great way to get more and more people online, especially in rural areas. According to him, India is undergoing its own revolution where low cost of bandwidth, offline strategy and affordable phones are expected to connect a large number of people.
Google will host Modi at Googleplex this weekend where he will inaugurate a 15-hour hackathon, with some 150 Indian programmers. The hackathon is being hosted by the Indian IT industry trade body, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), along with a host of start-ups in India and the US.
Although Modi is primarily visiting the US to attend the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, he has a host of meetings lined up with top business leaders in the US. A special dinner has been planned at New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel where Modi is expected to interact with top US CEO's like Lockheed Martin chairman Marillyn A Hewson, Ford Motor president Mark Fields, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, and Johnson & Johnson chairman Jorge Mesquita, among others.
Modi will also be the first Indian prime minister in more than three decades to visit California, where he has meetings scheduled with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and electric carmaker Tesla's iconic CEO Elon Musk. In fact, Zuckerberg will be hosting the Indian prime minister during a town-hall style Q and A. There is also much fervour among the sizeable Indian community in the US regarding his visit.
Modi has a massive following on social media with more than 15 million Twitter followers making him the second most followed world leader just behind Barack Obama. Additionally, his Facebook page has more than 30 million likes.