How Sundar Pichai is being used 'unofficially' to promote online coding classes

Capitalising on Sundar Pichai’s popularity, many coding classes have made the Google CEO their unofficial brand ambassador.
Sundar Pichai
Sundar Pichai
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“We want every child in the world to be excited about the many possibilities coding can unlock for themselves, for their communities and for their societies.” – Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

No, this is not an inspirational quote to begin this article with, but one that is splashed across every advertisement for an online coding class in the country.

Sundar Pichai is not alone. He is often joined by Microsoft co-founder and CEO Bill Gates, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, among other global technology bigwigs.

However, the Tamil Nadu-born Indian American, who joined Google in 2004 as Vice President of Product Management and went onto become CEO of the world’s largest tech company, seems to be every coding class’ favourite. Capitalising on his popularity, many coding classes have made the Google CEO their unofficial brand ambassador.

Whether the quotes of tech wisdom often attributed to Sundar Pichai are even his own, is an altogether different matter.

Some Indian coding companies go as far as promising parents that their kid could be the ‘next Sundar Pichai’. All by signing up to learn coding at their coaching class, they could be the world’s ‘next big entrepreneur’.

“Your kid is just one step away from becoming the next inspiration for the world. Sign up for online coding classes…,” one ad claims.

“1-hour free coding class for kids age 6-14. Your kid will become an entrepreneur this lockdown,” another ad promises.

One online coding platform even tells an elaborate tale of Sundar Pichai’s job interview that landed him at Google, in order to promote their ‘interview preparation’ course.

But did Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Bill Gates, or any of the other big tech company chiefs attend a coding class when they were six? Forget coding class, did they attend extra-curricular classes?

A Deloitte report states that 15 years from now, 65% of today’s five-year-olds will find themselves in jobs that don't even exist yet.

Starting young (so young that often the kid doesn’t know what they want), learning to code, learning new-age technologies, creating something disruptive, moving abroad and becoming the next big tech CEO: that’s the dream sold by most ed-tech platforms to parents. And truth be told, these dreams sell.

However, it is pertinent to note that advertising is governed by certain laws in the country that restrict deceptive or misleading acts under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. These are usually advertisements seen as being misleading or deceptive and could result in a consumer acting in a way they wouldn’t have, if they didn’t see the ad.

While parents may be well advised to take these ads and their bold claims with a pinch of salt, Sundar Pichai continues to rake in the coding moolah for many coaching classes hoping to catch them young.

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