Indra Nooyi is one of my favourite people in the world, I admire her aura and tenacity. I connected deeply with her story as narrated in her 2021 autobiography: My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future. Her autobiography is one of my favourite reads of 2022 as I enjoyed reading it.
In her Masterclass, former CEO of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi and Fortune’s List of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, shares her approach to making purpose-driven corporate change. Learn to make a meaningful impact within your company and find professional fulfillment.
Indra Nooyi is the first woman of color and the first immigrant to lead a Fortune 50 company.
Four decades of business experience
During her tenure as PepsiCo CEO, she grew the company’s net revenue by more than 80 percent. She also inspired business leaders across the globe as the chief architect of its “Performance With Purpose” initiative—delivering sustained growth by expanding the brand portfolio to include more nutritious products, limiting its environmental footprint, and empowering the communities it served.
She’s also the first woman of color and the first immigrant to lead a Fortune 50 company (a company identified by the American business magazine Fortune as one of the 50 most prosperous in the United States, according to revenue).
- Birthplace: Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India
- Education: Bachelor of Arts/ Science, Madras Christian College; Master’s of Business Administration, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta; Master’s of Public and Private Management, Connecticut’s Yale School of Management
- Published Work: The New York Times bestselling memoir My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future (Penguin Random House, 2021)
In 2006, when Indra became CEO of PepsiCo, there were only ten women running Fortune 500 companies. (The Fortune 500, an annual list compiled by American business magazine Fortune, ranks the 500 largest U.S. corporations by revenue.) As of May 2022, there are forty-four.
- Global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group; multinational telecommunications company Motorola; multinational electrical equipment, robotics, and automation corporation Asea Brown Boveri; multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation PepsiCo.
- Currently a member of the board of directors for the multinational e-commerce technology company Amazon, where she chairs the audit committee; sits on the supervisory board of the multinational electronics conglomerate Philips and is a member of its nominating and corporate governance committee
I KEEP six honest serving men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who. – Rudyard Kipling, 1902
Awards & Honors:
- Received fifteen honorary degrees and a Padma Bhushan award (India’s third-highest civilian honor); named “Outstanding American by Choice” by the U.S. State Department; became an
elected member of the American Philosophical Society and a National Gallery of Art trustee; Asian Hall of Fame and National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee.
In 2019, Washington, D.C.’s National Portrait Gallery added a painting of Indra to its
permanent collection. The work was created by American artist Jon R. Friedman
Leadership without honesty equals lack of courage.
Improve Existing Products
- Deliberate Improvement (building on features that currently exist)
- Frequency Improvement (changes designed to generate repeated use)
- Adoption Improvement (enticing consumers to engage in neglected features)
Recommended Books on Failure
The Icarus Paradox by Danny Miller
The Icarus Paradox investigates corporations that sputtered out after surging.
The Rise by Sarah Lewis
The Rise offers nuanced insights about impatience, fulfillment, and resilience, many of which are directly applicable to the modern business landscape.
Failure: Why Science Is So Successful by Stuart Firestein
Stuart Firestein argues that the scientific enterprise is riddled with mistakes and errors – and that this is a good thing! Failure: Why Science Is So Successful delves into the origins of scientific research as a process that relies upon trial and error, one which inevitably results in a hefty dose of failure.
Born Losers: A History of Failure in America by Scott A. Sandage
The author explains how Americans came to equate economic failures with moral ones. In doing so, he offers an opportunity for learning how to lionize the victors without stripping the defeated of their humanity.
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