The charismatic lady has asserted many times that “Balancing personal life with professional is not easy”, yet she managed to do just that with umpteenth flair. The Chennai-born, IIM- and Yale-educated executive Nooyi raised both the bar and the glass ceiling in a global corporate world dominated by men. Early on, she said men wouldn't make eye contact with her in meetings and would consistently check her answers with one of her male colleagues. But she never succumbed to pressure, rather reaffirmed her position by performing excellently and also prodding them about their action.
"In my heart I said, 'I can do this better than anyone else can, and if everything else fails, they're going to come to me and say, 'Fix it,' because I know I'm that good," she said. She has truly given every woman the inspiration to go beyond the stereotypes created by the society.
According to reports, Nooyi earned a whopping $31million last year. But the base of this global leader, who has been featured in many prominent magazines including Forbes, was laid in her childhood. She played in a rock band as a teenager and was always the rebellious one in her conservative family. Her mother, whom she credits to be the biggest influence in her life, had an unusual daily ritual. She used to ask her and her sister to write a speech about what they would do if they were president, chief minister, or prime minister. This, along with her paternal grandfather insistence on not subscribing to any excuse instilled in her confidence and belief in herself that helped her face every calamity with great poise.
Nooyi’s rise to success was a labor of love that started with her excellent academic performance. Nooyi had secured her B.S. from Madras Christian College and her M.B.A. from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta — two of India's most prestigious universities. After working at Johnson & Johnson in India for a few years, Nooyi began studying at the Yale School of Management in 1978. Through her 20s and 30s, Nooyi held strategic planning roles at the Boston Consulting Group, Motorola, and robotics company Asea Brown Boveri. By 1994, when Nooyi was 39, she received offers from General Electric and PepsiCo. When the latter offered her a role as chief strategist, she began working with the highly recognizable food and drink company. Nooyi became the chief financial officer in 2000, president in 2001, and finally chairman of the board and chief executive officer in 2006.
Though she has stepped aside from her position as the CEO of PepsiCo, she will continue being an inspiration for one and all. The entire team at our office salutes Mrs. Indra K. Nooyi and bows down to her perseverance and excellence!
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Inputs: Economics Times, Business Insider & The Atlantic