If dedication could have a different spelling people would’ve called it Mrs. Indra K. Nooyi. She is among the top executives from the Indian community. She has worked with top notch companies which include Motorola, Johnson & Johnson, Boston Consulting Group(BCG). Currently, She works as a CEO for the world’s 2nd largest food & beverage company PepsiCo. It was a never a bed of roses for Mrs. Indra Nooyi, From a normal woman to make her way into Forbes list of most powerful people. The name you know, The story you don’t.
Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi was born on 28th October 1955, in Madras Tamil Nadu in a conservative middle-class family. Her father was a bank official. She completed her schooling in Holy Angels Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School. She has done her graduation in 1974 with PCM as her core subjects. Nooyi is an all rounder, she played as a guitarist in a band and was a part of all girls cricket team. Nooyi was a brilliant student she completed her diploma in management(MBA) from India’s most premier institute IIM-A in 1976.
She started her career in Tootal, A British textile company who had an extensive holding in India. Post which she started working as a product manager in Johnson & Johnson. She was the head of the newly introduced sanitary napkins for women, It took her prowess as back then in India since advertising for female hygiene products was banned in India. She started marketing it to students in schools & colleges directly. This phase of her life made her realize she has to learn a lot about the business world. Thus, she moved to the USA to pursue her further education. She got herself enrolled in Yale School Of Management in 1978. She credits her early career working as a strategy consultant in BCG, It nourished her with inductive thinking that shaped her to a leader who stands 2nd on the Forbes Most powerful mothers. Later she worked with Motorola as a senior executive and was swiftly changed her ranks in due course of time due to her strategic thinking and was promoted to vice president and director of corporate strategy and planning in 1988. She had an offer from two big giant companies that were on their verge of ruling the corporate world General Electric(GE) and PepsiCo. She joined PepsiCo and made her mark in the company by spinning off the PepsiCo’s fast food business in 1997. Acquisition of Tropicana and merger with Quaker Oats were orchestrated by her. She was promoted as Cheif Financial officer in 2001 which deepened her knowledge about the company and her understanding on leadership. She became the CEO, 5 years later nothing could prepare her for the job. Nooyi quotes this was one of the best advice that she had ever received “the distance between no one and no two is always constant. If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself and the organization gets pulled by you. That is a big lesson. I cannot expect the organization to improve if I don’t improve myself and don’t lift the organization because that distance is constant.” When Nooyi went back to meet her mother people living around her neighborhood came down to her place spoke to Nooyi and congratulated her mother. That was the point when she did different with the alma maters, Now Nooyi every year writes a letter to the parents of her companies top most executives. Nooyi was undoubtedly an amazing leader from day 1, one of the most controversial initiatives which she always concentrated was to spend away from junk food to healthier life. The dietary balance was on her priorities list since day 1. Under her esteemed leadership, PepsiCo in 2010 became a part of a solution which is the world’s most leading problem obesity. Nooyi was an amazing market strategist, One of the most visible achievements came in the complete overhaul of Pepsi’s branding. The company started to drift from reducing the size of fun for your products to promoting diet products in its campaigns. One of her most unique marketing campaigns was Pepsi spire, a unique touchscreen fountain vending machine. The logo of PepsiCo was also redesigned under the Nooyi’s guidance by an Italian designer Mauro Porcini. Much of Nooyi’s current international strategies include reaching out expanding markets rapidly middle-class societies. Nooyi’s initiatives and innovative ideas hailed the company with several wealthy awards. Every year starting from 2007 to 2014 Forbes listed her in the list of world’s most powerful women, while fortune listed her in world’s most powerful women in business from 2006-2010. She was honored with Padma Bhushan by the President of India in 2007. In 2008, US news and world report listed her among the world’s best leaders. In 2008, Nooyi was elected as the chair of US-India business council. In 2009 she won the award for CEO of the year for Global supply chain leaders group.
An important attribute to success is to be yourself, Never hide what makes you.