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Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi is an American business entrepreneur of Indian heritage who serves as the chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, one of the world's largest food and beverage corporations. Nooyi has consistently ranked among the top 100 most powerful women in the world for a few years since 2008. She is a notable example of a leading American executive woman. She has played a crucial role in the expansion and diversification of PepsiCo's brands, which had previously been more heavily weighted toward soft drinks. Nooyi rose from a lowly beginning to become one of the top female executives in the world. She is renowned for being highly imaginative, energetic, and hardworking.

Nooyi, who was raised in a middle-class household in Chennai, has never been one to follow society's traditional rules. She worked for Johnson & Johnson after receiving her MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta. Nooyi did exceptionally well in school. She continued her study at Yale School of Management and worked for companies like Motorola, Asea Brown Boveri, and Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Nooyi rose to fame as a strategist and received employment offers from a number of prominent organisations, including PepsiCo and General Electric. She decided to join PepsiCo in 1994, quickly moving up the company's ranks to become its CEO in 2006.

Early Childhood & Education

On her birthdate October 28, 1955, in Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India, she was given the name Indra Krishnamurthy into a conventional middle-class family. Her father worked in banking. Holy Angels Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School served as her place of education. She attended Madras Christian College, where she earned degrees in mathematics, physics, and chemistry, in 1974.

Nooyi was a stellar student who gained admission to the prestigious Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta, where she obtained an MBA in 1976 after completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM).

Nooyi travelled to the U.S. in 1978 after receiving admission to Yale School of Management, where she eventually completed her Master's degree in Public and Private Management in 1980.

As a young child, she was renowned for having a rebellious tendency and being "wild". She participated in two hobbies that girls in her socioeconomic class hardly ever did: she played guitar in a band and was a player on an all-girls cricket team. She played guitar in an all-girl rock band in India and participated in a few cricket competitions.

Life Story

Raj K. Nooyi, president of AmSoft Systems, and Indra were married in 1981. Nooyi currently resides in Greenwich, Connecticut, and has two daughters.

Indra Nooyi

On Forbes' list of the "World's Powerful Moms", Indra came in third place. Due to her devotion to the teachings and traditions of her faith, she is a devoted Hindu who abstains from alcohol and practises vegetarianism.

Indra's aunt is the South Indian Carnatic musician named Aruna Sairam. The famous musician and businesswoman Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon is her older sister.


Nooyi started her career in India and worked as a product manager at Beardsell Ltd. and Johnson & Johnson. Nooyi worked at Booz Allen Hamilton for the duration of her summer internship when she was a student at Yale School of Management. In 1980, Nooyi joined the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as a strategy consultant. At Motorola and Asea Brown Boveri, she later held the posts of vice president and director of corporate strategy and planning. Later, she joined PepsiCo in 1994 and spent most of her time there. She is primarily known as the former CEO of PepsiCo. After February 2019, Nooyi became a member of Amazon's board of directors.


In 1994, Nooyi started working with PepsiCo. In 2006, she competed with "Steven Reinemund" for the CEO's post, becoming the sixth CEO of the business in its 44-year history. Nooyi also held the positions of Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning at PepsiCo from 1994 to 1996 and Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development at PepsiCo from 1996 to 2000. She also oversaw PepsiCo's restructuring, which included the 1997's sale of Tricon to what is now Yum! Brand. Nooyi held the positions of president and chief financial officer prior to being chosen as CEO. From February 2000 to April 2001, she held the positions of Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at PepsiCo. Nooyi was also selected to join the board of directors at PepsiCo in 2001.

Indra Nooyi

Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut were among the businesses covered by Tricon. The business was able to speed up its share repurchase strategy thanks to the financial gains from this spinoff, giving it more power to pursue acquisitions in the future with less risk of shareholder anger. Nooyi also had a key role in the 1998's purchase of Tropicana and the 2001's merger with Quaker Oats Company, which included the introduction of Gatorade. The $3.3 billion purchase of Tropicana was initially resisted by several PepsiCo executives and doubters on Wall Street. Due to Tropicana's 44 per cent market share in chilled orange juice, the juice market's fastest-growing segment at that time, PepsiCo acquired a competitive advantage over Coca-Minute Cola's Maid, which only accounted for around half of Tropicana's market share.

PepsiCo made a solid strategic decision when it purchased the Quaker Oats Company (the maker of Cap'n Crunch cereal, Aunt Jemima pancake products and Gatorade). Gatorade accounted for 80% of sports drink sales at the time. It was the market's second most popular sports drink, similar to the Tropicana acquisition. The net profit for PepsiCo increased from $2.7 billion to $6.5 billion annually.

Nooyi was named one of the 100 most influential persons in the world by Time magazine in 2007 and 2008, as well as one of the "50 Women to Watch" by the Wall Street Journal in 2007. In 2008, Forbes ranked her as the third-most powerful woman. Later, she was ranked #13 by Forbes in 2014 for the same title.

In 2009 and 2010, Fortune recognised her as the most powerful woman in business, placing her at the top of the list. According to Fortune magazine, she was ranked as the sixth-most powerful woman in the world as of October 7, 2010. Nooyi was second on Fortune's list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in 2015. Performance with a Purpose, Nooyi's strategy for refocusing PepsiCo has been mainly effective and included fostering long-term growth while positively influencing society and the environment. The three categories she used to categorise PepsiCo items were "good for you", "better for you", and "fun for you". Examples of "fun for you" products include potato chips and ordinary soda (items such as oatmeal).

Her idea was always effective, and she was focused on innovations and experiments with potential. She changed business expenditure from unhealthy to healthier options in an effort to make even the "fun" products more nutritious. Despite the absence of proof of aspartame's negative effects, Nooyi withdrew it from Diet Pepsi in 2015, advancing the trend towards healthier meals. Nooyi also concentrated on environmental issues and sustainability as part of Performance with a Purpose, rethinking packaging to cut waste, saving water, converting to renewable energy sources, and recycling. By 2020, all company-operated facilities in the U.S. were supposed to run solely on renewable energy. The third element of Performance with a Purpose was developing an environment where employees felt supported in sticking with the business.

For instance, Nooyi wrote and visited the parents of her leadership team to develop a personal connection. Nooyi has declared her intention to create a line of snacks targeted specifically at women because she believes that the market has not yet been explored. According to Nooyi, PepsiCo was preparing to introduce goods that are created and packaged in accordance with women's preferences and based on behavioural variations in how men and women consume snacks. This was revealed in a radio interview.

Indra Nooyi

On August 6, 2018, Nooyi resigned as CEO of PepsiCo. On October 3, 22-year PepsiCo veteran Ramon Laguarta was assigned the CEO role and joined the board of directors. But Nooyi remained the business's chairman until the beginning of 2019. When Nooyi was running it, the company's sales had increased by about 80%. According to an Equilar analysis, Nooyi held the CEO position for 12 years, which is 7 years longer than the typical CEO tenure at large corporations.

Connecticut Government

Nooyi was appointed co-director of the newly founded public-private Connecticut Economic Resource Center by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development in 2019. She contributed to the creation of the state's new economic development plan. Being a Connecticut resident, Nooyi attended Yale SOM (School of Management) with Connecticut governor Ned Lamont.

According to a report from April 2020, Nooyi and Yale's epidemiologist Dr Albert Ko represented Connecticut in the six-state working group planning for the cautious loosening of COVID-19 criteria. She also served as co-chair of the nonprofit group AdvanceCT, which is situated in Connecticut.


As the CEO of PepsiCo in 2011, Nooyi earned around $17 million, which was made up of a $1.9 million base salary, a $2.5 million cash bonus, pension value, and $3 million in deferred pay. Her overall compensation increased to $19,087,832 (approx.) in 2014, including around $5.5 million in equity.

Awards and Honours

  • Nooyi was chosen to lead the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) in January 2008. The Board of Directors of USIBC, comprised of more than 60 senior leaders from various sectors of American business, was headed by Nooyi.
  • In 2008, she received a fellowship invitation from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • S. News & World Report named Nooyi one of America's Best Leaders in 2008.
  • Nooyi received the Global Supply Chain Leaders Group's CEO of the Year award in July 2009.
  • Nooyi was regarded by the counselling firm Brendan Wood International as one of "The TopGun CEOs" in 2009.
  • Nooyi was ranked on Fortune magazine's annual list of the Most Powerful Women in Business for the years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.
  • Nooyi was included on the All-America Executive Team Survey's list of Institutional Investor's Best CEOs from 2008 through 2011. Indra Nooyi, the Indian American chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo, lost her position as the most influential woman in the U.S. industry after five years at the top to Irene Rosenfeld, the CEO of Kraft.
  • In 2013, NDTV chose Nooyi as one of the "25 Greatest Global Living Legends". She received the Padma Bhushan award on December 14, 2013, at Rashtrapati Bhavan from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.
  • Nooyi was named among the top 100 most influential women in the world by Forbes magazine from 2008 to 2017.
  • Nooyi has been chosen as one of 2019's American Portrait Gala Awardees by the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian. Nooyi has been chosen as one of the "Best CEOs in the World" for 2018 by CEOWORLD magazine.
  • Nooyi won the Franklin Institute Awards Program's Bower Award for Business Leadership in 2019.
  • The League of Women Voters of Connecticut presented Nooyi with the Outstanding Woman in Business Award in February 2020.
  • Nooyi was admitted to the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2021.

Here is the list of some awards given by many organisations to Indra Nooyi:

Year Name Awarding Organisation
2019 Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters Yale University
2018 Honorary Degree Cranfield University
2015 Honorary Doctorate of Human letters The State University of New York at purchase
2013 Honorary Degree North Carolina State University
2011 Honorary Doctor Of laws University of Warwick
2011 Honorary Doctorate of Law Miami University
2010 Honorary doctorate of Humane Letters Pennsylvania State University
2009 Honorary Degree Duke University
2009 Barnard Medal of Honour Barnard College
2008 Honorary Degree New York University
2007 Padma Bhushan President of India
2004 Honorary Doctor Of Laws Babson College

Associations and Memberships

Nooyi is a Yale Corporation's successor fellow. She is on the foundation boards of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Catalyst, the World Economic Forum, and the International Rescue Committee. She is a member of the Eisenhower Fellowships Board of Trustees and has served as the U.S.-India Business Council's Chairperson.

Nooyi is the World Justice Project's Honorary Co-Chair. The World Justice Project spearheads an international, interdisciplinary effort to advance the rule of law for the growth of equitable and opportunity-rich societies.

From April 2015 to April 2020, she was a Schlumberger Limited director. She became a founding member of the Temasek Americas Advisory Panel in June 2016. Nooyi took part in a business gathering hosted by Donald Trump in December 2016 to make strategic and legislative suggestions regarding economic issues. In June 2018, Nooyi was appointed as the International Cricket Council's first autonomous female director.

Nooyi has served on the Amazon board of directors since February 2019. In addition, Nooyi is a member of the MIT Corporation and the Dean's Advisory Council at the MIT School of Engineering. She also holds the West Point Class of 1951 Chair for Leadership Studies.


In 2016, Nooyi donated an unspecified amount to The Yale School of Management, her alma mater. She endowed a deanship at a prestigious business school with her contribution, making her the largest alumni giver in school history and the first woman to do so. In support of Connecticut's coalition school districts during the COVID-19 dispute, Nooyi and her husband Raj donated around 187,000 Scholastic books.

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