Speaking to about 200 people in a cafe in central Hanoi today, Pichai said he did not see any reason why Vietnam would not be successful globally, given the size of the local market, high Internet usage and the strong entrepreneurial culture.
"I think it's just a matter of time, and I think many of you are already working on something like that," he said. Pichai said Vietnamese startups can learn from the experiences of those in India that started locally, and "once they get the strength they can take it outside."
He added Vietnamese startups may not reach a global scale at once, but they can team with entrepreneurs from other countries in the region and "can use that strength to launch something global."
Pichai said Vietnam is growing into a big market and the people who serve it will gain the confidence to think bigger, which helps them achieve global success.
Pham Huu Ngon, owner of a local transportation startup using technology, says Pichai's visit will inspire others. "His visit inspires the startup community and engineers in Vietnam," Ngon said. "Given Vietnam's high Internet and mobile phone usage, we can do good locally and then expand to the countries in the region."