Indra Nooyi’s education is the obvious key to her successful career. Nooyi’s case is another bright example of what can an empowered and educated woman do.
Indian-American business executive, Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, is the current Chairwoman and Pepsi CEO that is world’s second largest food and beverage business.
This woman has consistently appeared among the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. It’s safe to say that if it wasn’t for Indra Nooyi’s education, she could hardly be where she is now.
In a world where inequality and gender discrimination exist in every sphere, there is the story of a woman who has reached to the top positions of the most prestigious companies in the world.
Pepsi CEO, Indra Nooyi, has showcased to the world a success story. She also has proven that no matter where you come from or who you are, you can achieve all your dreams if you have will and determination.
Thus, let’s have a look at the background history of one of the most successful women in the world, Indra Nooyi.
Indra Nooyi’s Education, Career & Background
Behind my cool logic lies a very emotional person.
Indra Nooyi is one of the most prominent female executives in the United States. Her background was instrumental in the development and diversification of PepsiCo’s brands. Furthermore, Pepsi CEO is known to be a highly energetic, innovative and hardworking person.
Nooyi was born into a middle-class family in Chennai and although she grew up in a society filled with conservative norms, she always refused to cling to those old-fashioned standards. Being a brilliant student, Pepsi CEO received a good qualification.
In particular, Nooyi received bachelor’s degrees in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics from Madras Christian College of the University of Madras. She completed her Post Graduate Programme at Indian Institute of Management Calcutta.
After receiving this enormous educational background she began her career in India quite successfully and worked with Johnson & Johnson. In 1978, she entered Yale School of Management and received the qualification in Public and Private Management.
After graduating from the University, Nooyi worked with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). It is also noteworthy that Indra Nooyi soon became a popular strategist and received job offers from such prestigious companies as Motorola and Asea Brown Boveri.
By the way, she joined PepsiCo in 1994 and in 2006 rose up to the qualification to be named Pepsi CEO.
Interesting facts about Pepsi CEO, Indra Nooyi
- Fierce since an early childhood
Nooyi was known to be “wild” and had a rebellious soul as a young girl. Surprisingly, she played guitar in a band and participated in some activities that the majority of the girls in her society rarely wanted to participate.
For example, she was a member of an all-girls’ cricket team.
- Nooyi had to overcome financial hardships before becoming a CEO
Despite the fact that she received financial support from Yale, Nooyi had to work as a night shift receptionist to earn for living. As she once recalled, she went to work in a sari because she had no money to buy clothes or business suits.
- Her marketing skills even broke Indian stereotypes
Nooyi’s job with Johnson & Johnson was very challenging. She had to introduce Stayfree sanitary napkins to India.
During that period the advertisement of feminine hygiene products was banned in India and Stayfree was struggling to become popular.
Significantly, Indra succeeded in it and introduced the products to young girls and women by promoting it to female students at schools and colleges.
- Working at Johnson & Johnson changed Indra’s idea about real education
Indra Nooyi’s education entered another level only when she started working at Johnson & Johnson. Her time there made her understand that she was still not ready enough for the business world.
When she decided to move to the USA to join Yale School of Management and pursue further development, Indra Nooyi’s education entered a whole new phase.
- Family or Business? Which one works for Indra?
Indra Nooyi maintains a puja (traditional Hindu shrine) at home. During her younger ages, she thought that Indra Nooyi’s education would be an obstacle for her marriage prospects, but it proved to be wrong.
She is married an Indian man who works as a management consultant. They have two daughters and even though her job remains a top priority, she always puts her family first and maintains close bonds with her mother.
- Healthy consumer is a happy consumer
Based on the changing food preferences of the consumers, Indra Nooyi felt that it was very important for PepsiCo to develop into more healthful snack options.
Given that fact, PepsiCo’s owned Tropicana and merged with Quaker Oats Company. Both of these initiatives that were led by her proved to be highly helpful and profitable to the company.
Notably, Indra Nooyi is trying to direct Pepsi toward healthier offerings. For instance, she is trying to cut salt, sugar and fat from many Pepsi products by 2025.
Indra Nooyi’s Awards and Recognition
She has consistently appeared in the list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women of ‘Forbes’ magazine. Furthermore, Fortune magazine has named Indra Nooyi number one in the ranking of “Most Powerful Women in Business” for five consecutive years.
According to U.S. News & World Report, she was named one of America’s Top Leaders in 2008.
In the same year, Nooyi was elected as chairwoman of the U.S.-India Business Council where she leads the Board of Directors (that consists of more than 60 senior executives).
In 2009, Global Supply Chain Leaders Group named her CEO of the Year.
In 2013, Nooyi was included in the list of “25 Greatest Global Living Legends” by NDTV.
It is also noteworthy that while being the Pepsi CEO she earned $17 million in 2011 but by 2014, her total remuneration had grown to $19,087,900. According to 2016 statistics her salary is $29.8 million and her net worth is $144 million.
Indra Nooyi’s Quotes that can keep you motivated through the day
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.
The distance between number one and number two is always a constant. If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself and the organization gets pulled up with you. That is a big lesson. I cannot just expect the organization to improve if I don’t improve myself and lift the organization because that distance is constant.
At the end of the day, don’t forget that you’re a person, don’t forget you’re a mother, don’t forget you’re a wife, don’t forget you’re a daughter.
PepsiCo did not have a woman in the senior ranks, nor a foreign-born person who was willing to think differently.
Most companies target women as end users, but few are effectively utilizing female employees when it comes to innovating for female consumers. When women are empowered in the design and innovation process, the likelihood of success in the marketplace improves by 144%!
I asked my parents for permission to study in America and they were so sure that I wouldn’t get in and get a scholarship that they encouraged me to try. So, I applied to Yale and got an excellent scholarship. I then worked for the Boston Consulting Group for six and half years.
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