The Journey of Indra Nooyi [Infographic]

Reading success stories of some of the most exceptional professionals kindles motivational neurons within us and makes us imitate them to walk the path of success. The success story of “the lady with a spark – Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi” does precisely the same.  We know her as the former CEO and chairman of PepsiCo, one of the world’s largest Food & Beverage companies for the last 12 years. But how did this Indian-born American executive become the most powerful woman in the world in such a short period?

Today, we are presenting her unheard story on how she has carved a niche in her own way and have become one of the most notable icons of Management Fraternity.

The Journey of Indra Nooyi

Early Life & Academics

  • Born on October 28, 1955, in Tamil Nadu, India
  • Schooling from Holy Angels AIHSS, Chennai
  • Bachelor’s degree in Physics, Chemistry & Maths from Madras Christian College
  • Part of all-girls cricket team and played guitar in an all-female rock band
  • Masters in Finance & Marketing from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta
  • Masters in Public & Private Management from Yale School of Management, Connecticut
  • A summer internship with Booz Allen Hamilton

“I grew up with a mother who said, ‘I’ll arrange a marriage for you at 18,’ but she also said that we could achieve anything we put our minds to and encourage us to dream of becoming prime minister or president.” ~ Indra Nooyi

Her Philosophy of ‘Be Yourself’

  • Joined as a receptionist to buy a western suit for her first job interview
  • Rejected for being uncomfortable with the outfit
  • Her professor directed her to stick to what she was contented with
  • Wore a sari in her next interview and got the job

“An important attribute of success is to be yourself. Never hide what makes you, you.” ~ Indra Nooyi

Symbol of Women Empowerment

  • Began her career as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group
  • Worked as a product manager in Mettur Beardsell, ABB and then Johnson and Johnson (J&J), Mumbai
  • Represented a significant role in the launch of Stayfree – Johnson & Johnson’s first sanitary napkin

“Take a stand. Be known for your courage and confidence.” ~ Indra Nooyi

Her PepsiCo Journey

1994 – Started as the senior vice president of corporate strategy & development in PepsiCo

2000 – Became chief financial officer of the company

2001 – Named as president of PepsiCo

2006 – Became the CEO of the company

2007 – Became chairman of the board

“To be a CEO is a calling. You should not do it because it is a job. It is a calling, and you have got to be involved in it with your head, heart, and hands.” ~ Indra Nooyi

Her Master Plans to Success

  • Led PepsiCo’s restructuring, including its restaurants— KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell
  • Meticulously planned & acquired Tropicana and Quaker, fruit juice brands
  • Featured 1960s and 70s in Mountain Dew ads to sell products in mass
  • Introduced Pepsi Natural, a product featuring natural products
  • Reclassified PepsiCo’s products into three major categories
  • The company’s profit jumped by 72% after her propositions and advises

Life after PepsiCo

2018 – Stepped down as the CEO

2019 – Retired from PepsiCo as Chairman

2019 – Joined Amazon’s board of Directors

Her Achievements

2007 – Awarded Padma Bhushan for business achievements

2008 – Named as one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report

2009 – Named as ‘CEO of the Year’ by Global Supply Chain Leaders Group

2009 – Named as #1 most powerful woman in business by Fortune

2015 – Named as the 2nd most powerful woman in business by Fortune

2018 – Named as one of the “Best CEOs in the World” by the CEOWORLD magazine

2019 – 11th position in the Forbes list of World’s 100 most powerful women

2019 – Inducted into the prestigious Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery

“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

Sources: Britannica, Wikipedia, Encyclopedia of World Biography, Investopedia



Author: Robert Duke
Robert Duke is a Marketing Manager and Spokesperson of Blue Mail Media.
Lance Rogers, Consultant