Early life and careerNooyi was born in Madras, India, in 1955, and was a bit of a rule breaker in her conservative, middle-class world as she grew up.In an era in India where it was considered unseemly for young women to exert themselves, she joined anall-girls cricket team.She even played guitar in an all-female rock band while studying at Madras Christian College.After earning her undergraduate degree in chemistry, physics, and math, she went on to enroll in theIndian Institute of Management in Calcutta.At the time, it was one of just two schools in the country that offered a masters in businessadministration degree, or M.B.A.Nooyi first job after earning her degree was with Total, a British textile company.
Early life and careerIt had had been founded in Manchester, England, in 1799, but had extensive holdings in India.After that, Nooyi was hired as a brand manager at the Bombay offices of Johnson & Johnson, thepersonal-care products maker.She was given the Stayfree account, which might have proved a major challenge for even anexperienced marketing executive.The line had just been introduced on the market in India, and struggled to create an identity with its targetcustomers."It was a fascinating experience because you couldnt advertise personal protection in India," sherecalled in an interview with the Financial Times s Sarah Murray.
Early life and careerNooyi began to feel that perhaps she was underprepared for the business world.Determined to study in the United States, she applied to and was accepted by Yale Universitys GraduateSchool of Management in New Haven, Connecticut.Much to her surprise, her parents agreed to let her move to America.The year was 1978. "It was unheard of for a good, conservative, south Indian Brahmin girl to do this," sheexplained to Murray in the Financial Times."It would make her an absolutely unmarriageable commodity after that.""Behind my cool logic lies a very emotional person."
Career:Between 1986 and 1990, she worked for Motorola as vice president of corporate strategy and guided thecompany’s development of automotive and industrial electronics.She gained her U.S. citizenship in 1990, and four years later, joined PepsiCo.and quickly rose to chief financial officer by 2001 after directing the company’s global strategy andinternal restructuring.Nooyi is the architect of PepsiCo’s long-term growth strategy called Performance with Purpose.The company wants to expand its business while it also expands its commitment to “investing in ahealthier future for people and the planet.”The idea is to make PepsiCo products healthier and find innovative ways to reduce the use of energy,water and packaging to protect the environment.
Career:“To us, Performance with Purpose doesn’t mean we run our business normally and then do good deedson the side,” Nooyi has said.“It doesn’t mean subtracting from the bottom line to boost our reputation or foregoing profits to ease ourconscience.It means that we bring together what is good for our business with what is good for the world. It is aboutintegrating purpose in everything we do.”In 2011, Nooyi, 56, ran a company that had consumers in more than 200 countries, $60 billion in revenueand nearly 300,000 employees worldwide. PepsiCo has the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including QuakerOats, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and the eponymous Pepsi-Cola.
Career:Nooyi serves as a member of a number of boards, including the U.S.-China Business Council, the U.S.-India Business Council, the Consumer Goods Forum, and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.She is also a member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum and the Obamaadministration appointed her to the U.S.-India CEO Forum.She has served as the honorary co-chair for the World Justice Project.“We measure everything we do along three planks,” Nooyi says of Performance with Purpose.“Human sustainability is how we transform our portfolio and address the twin problems of overnutritionand undernutrition while giving people healthier options.Environmental sustainability is about how we leave the world a better place and about finding innovativeways to reduce the use of energy, water, and packaging.
Pepsi v. CokeThe rivalry between Pepsi, the flagship product of Indra Nooyis company, and its Atlanta, Georgia-basedcompetitor, Coca-Cola, is one of corporate Americas longest-running marketing battles.In the United States alone, the soft-drink industry is a $60 billion one, with the average Americanconsuming a staggering fifty-three gallons of carbonated soft drinks every year.The battle between Coke and Pepsi dates back almost as long as each companys history. Both emergedas key players in early decades of the twentieth century, when soft drinks first came on the market in theUnited States.In the 1920s, Coca-Cola began moving aggressively into overseas markets, and even opened bottlingplants near to places where U.S. service personnel were stationed during World War II. Pepsi only movedinto international territory in the 1950s, but scored a major coup in 1972 when it inked a deal with theSoviet Union. With this deal, Pepsi became the first Western product ever sold to Soviet consumers.
Pepsi v. CokeThe battle for market share heated up after 1975, when both companies stepped up their already lavishlyfinanced marketing campaigns to win new customers.Pepsis standard cola products had a slightly sweeter taste, which prompted one of the biggestcorporate-strategy blunders in U.S. business history: in 1985, Coca-Cola launched "New Coke," which hada slightly sweeter formulation. Coke consumers were outraged.The old formula was still available under the name "Coca-Cola Classic," but the New Coke idea wasquickly shelved.This incident is often studied by business-school curriculums in the United States and elsewhere, alongwith many other aspects of what is known as "the cola wars."Coke is the leader in market share for carbonated colas, but soft drinks remain its core business.
Pepsi v. CokePepsi, on the other hand, began acquiring other businesses in 1965 when it bought the Texas-basedFrito-Lay company, and has a larger stake in the food industry.Nooyi did not earn a second M.B.A. from Yale.Instead, her degree was a master of public and private management, which she finished in 1980.After commencement, she went to work at the Boston Consulting Group, a prestigious consulting firm.For the next six years she worked on a variety of international corporate-strategy projects, and went overto Motorola in 1986 as a senior executive.She remained there for four years, leaving in 1990 to join Asea Brown Boveri Inc. as its head of strategy.
Pepsi v. CokeABB, as the company was known, was a $6 billion Swiss-Swedish conglomerate that made industrialequipment and constructed power plants around the world.Nooyis skill in helping ABB find its direction in North America came to the attention of Jack Welch, thehead of General Electric.He offered her a job in 1994, but so did PepsiCo chief executive officer Wayne Calloway.As she told a writer for Business Week, the two men knew one another, but Calloway made anappealing pitch for Nooyis talent.He told her, she recalled, that "Welch is the best CEO I know.... But I have a need for someone like you,and I would make PepsiCo a special place for you."Nooyi chose the soft-drink maker, and became its chief strategist.
Pepsi v. CokeSoon, she was urging PepsiCo to reshape its brand identity and assets, and became influential in anumber of important decisions.She was also a lead negotiator on the high-level deals that followed.The company decided to spin off its restaurant division in 1997, for example, which made its KFC, PizzaHut, and Taco Bell holdings into a separate company.She also looked at the successful plan by Pepsi rival Coca-Cola, which had sold of its bottling operationsa decade earlier, and had been rewarded with impressive profit margins on its stock performance.Pepsi followed suit, and the 1999 initial public offering of the Pepsi bottling operations was valued at $2.3billion.The company kept a large share of stock in it, however.
Pointed Pepsi in the Right DirectionAt PepsiCo, Nooyi has been the chief dealmaker for two of its most important acquisitions:she put together the $3.3 billion-dollar-deal for the purchase of the Tropicana orange-juice brand in 1998,and two years later was part of the team that secured Quaker Oats for $14 billion.That became one of the biggest food deals in corporate history, and added a huge range of cereals andsnack-food products to the PepsiCo empire.She also helped acquire the edgy beverage maker SoBe for $337 million, and her deal beat the onesubmitted by Coca-Cola.For her impressive dealmaking talents, Nooyi was promoted to the job of chief financial officer atPepsiCo in February of 2000.
Pointed Pepsi in the Right DirectionIt made her the highest-ranking Indian-born woman among the ranks of corporate America.A year later, she was given the title of president as well, when her longtime colleague, Steven S.Reinemund, advanced to the position of board chair and chief executive officer.Reinemund had said he would only take the job only if Nooyi came onboard as his second in command."I cant do it unless I have you with me," she recalled him telling her, according to Business Week.Upon taking over as president and chief financial officer in May of 2001, Nooyi worked to keep thecompany on track with her vision:"For any part of the day we will have a little snack for you," she told Business Week in 2001.
Awards:As the fifth CEO in PepsiCo’s 45-year history, Nooyi earns a total package of salary, bonuses and stocksworth close to $15 million a year.In 2010, she was named No. 1 on Fortune magazines list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in the Worldand routinely ranks in the top 10 of Forbes’ list.In 2009, she was named CEO of the Year by the Global Supply Chain Leaders Group.
One of Corporate Americas Top VisionariesNooyis success in the business world landed her on Time magazines list of "Contenders" for its GlobalBusiness Influentials rankings in 2003. Many watchers predict that she will someday head one of the companys divisions, such as Frito-Lay,or its core brand, PepsiCo Beverages North America.In early 2004, there were mentions in the press that Nooyi, who still wears the occasional sari to work,was being considered for the top job at the Gucci Group, but she denied rumors that she had been talkingwith the Italian luxury-goods giant.Nooyi serves on the board of trustees at the Yale Corporation, the governing board of Yale University.She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, not far from PepsiCos headquarters across the state line inPurchase, New York.At home, she maintains a puja, or traditional Hindu shrine, and once she flew to Pittsburgh after a toughsession with Quaker Oats executives to pray at a shrine there to her familys deity.
One of Corporate Americas Top VisionariesHer predictions that her American graduate education would hamper her marriage prospects proveduntrue, for she married an Indian man, Raj, who works as a management consultant.They have two daughters who are nearly a decade apart in ages, and Nooyi occasionally brings heryounger child to work.The former rock guitarist is still known to take the stage at company functions to sing. Her job, however, remains a top priority.She watches championship-game replays of the Chicago Bulls to study teamwork concepts, for example,and admitted to Forbes journalist Melanie Wells that she strategizes 24-7 sometimes."I wake up in the middle of the night," she told the magazine, "and write different versions of PepsiCo ona sheet of paper."
PeriodicalsKretchmar, Laurie. "Indra K. Nooyi, 35." Fortune (May 6, 1991): p. 112.Murray, Sarah. "From Poor Indian Student to Powerful US Business-woman." Financial Times (January26, 2004): p. 3."Nooyi Denies Gucci Talks." WWD (February 27, 2004): p. 2.Pandya, Meenal. "No Going Back: Indian Immigrant Women Shape a New Identity." World and I (May2001): p. 204."A Potent Ingredient in Pepsis Formula." Business Week (April 10, 2000): p. 180."The Power of Two at Pepsi." Business Week (January 29, 2001): p. 102.Thottam, Jyoti. "The Iron Woman Is Ready to Rock." Time (December 1, 2003): p. 73.
Could Not Afford SuitNooyi quickly settled into her new life, but struggled to make ends meet over the next two years.Though she received financial aid from Yale, she also had to work as an overnight receptionist to makeends meet. "My whole summer job was done in a sari because I had no money to buy clothes," she told Murray.Even when she went for an interview at the prestigious business-consulting firms that hired business-school students, she wore her sari, since she could not afford a business suit.Recalling that the Graduate School of Management required all first-year students to take—and pass—acourse in effective communications, she said in the Financial Times interview that what she learned in it"was invaluable for someone who came from a culture where communication wasnt perhaps the mostimportant aspect of business at least in my time."