Satya Nadella: A History buff in school, says Sachin yesterday, Virat today

‘History buff’ Nadella meets IT minister | Photo: Sanjay K Sharma
Even though he heads one of the largest technology companies in the world, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was a history buff in school.

Speaking at an event in New Delhi on Wednesday, Nadella took a few “rapid-fire” questions from Anant Maheshwari, president at Microsoft India. 

While his favourite subject in school was History, he also loves books. However, he took the safer route when asked about his favourite cricketer — Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli. Saying the choice was as difficult as choosing religions, he replied with a diplomatic, “I would say Sachin yesterday, Virat today.”

The India-born CEO of Microsoft is on a visit to India, meeting business leaders and the larger tech community in Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi.

Nadella also called on the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday. 

When asked what superpower he would like to have, Nadella said, “If I could read all the books I bought, I would be so much better off...That’s why I am excited about natural language progress.”

He also spoke about two key trends that will define the compute fabric needed in the future.

He said there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2030, which will be the endpoints. On the other hand, by 2025 data generation will quadruple to 175 ZB.

Microsoft’s tip boss also spoke highly of coding. When asked if he would choose coding or cricket, Nadella said “coding for cricket”.

Citing the example of Anil Kumble, whose startup is using IoT and artificial intelligence through sensors in cricket bats, and Dr. Devi Shetty, the founder of Narayana Health that uses data analytics extensively, Nadella said, “Coding can inspire you in liberal arts and sciences to make a difference.”

“Coding is perhaps one of the most liberating of exercises. It’s a classic example of deep work,” he added.



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