From Aspirations To Inspiration, Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo. #WomensHistoryMonth
In honor of “International Women’s Month,” the Global Connections for Women Foundation is spotlighting Indra Nooyi, the Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo. Indra Nooyi is a self-made woman whose story is inspiring and will give rise to more powerful women in the future.
“Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader”- Indra Nooyi, Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo.
How often do you see a woman at the top of the ladder in the corporate world? However, inspiring fellow-women to change this trend are some dynamic women taking the corporate world by storm. One such contributor is, PepsiCo’s CEO, Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, ranked 14th at the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women 2016. She was born on 28th October 1955 in Chennai, India. Indra Nooyi is credited for changing the Face of PepsiCo.
She earned her degree of Bachelor of Science Madras Christian College in 1974. Following which she received an MBA in Business Management from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. She moved to the United States, in 1978, to get her master’s degree in Public and Private Management from Yale School of Management graduating in 1980. Indra landed her first job as a product manager at Johnson & Johnson and MetturBeardsell in India after getting her MBA.
On graduating from Yale, she secured a job at Boston Consulting Group and worked harder than her counterparts. She felt as a woman she had to prove her worth in a male dominated environment and because she wasn’t an American. Indra joined PepsiCo in 1994 and was promoted to CFO in 2001 and eventually designated the President and CEO in 2006. She has held on to that position for a decade now. She has been pivotal in the massive expansion of PepsiCo. Nooyi initiated restructuring strategies that helped boost the company’s worth and brand reputation. She focused on health of her consumers and launched range of products which are nutritious. Which led to her segregating PepsiCo’s products as ‘fun for you’, ‘better for you’, and ‘good for you.’
Indra credits her mother for the position she is in. Every day, in her childhood, her mother would ask Indra and her sister to write a speech imagining themselves as a leader, politician, president, CEO, etc. The role would vary each day. The speech had to be delivered post family dinner each night. This galvanized her into being an extremely ambitious woman and she knew she wanted to conquer the corporate world- which she did.
Her belief system is three folds- do your current job very well, have a hip-pocket spill, and be courageous. This practice contributed in her winning many prestigious awards. She was honored with the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award of India, in 200. She was ranked 1st in Fortune magazine’s list of Most Powerful Business Women for 5 consecutive years from 2006 to 2010.
She writes personal letters to her top-level employee’s parents congratulating them for supporting their children. Her own success made her realize the significant role parents play in their children’s success and believes it must be appreciated.
Written by: Pranali P. Gotpagar
About GC4W: The Global Connections for Women Foundation is not-for-profit charity organization that believes in women and girls — and their rights to create new opportunities for themselves and their communities.