Connect with us


Indra Nooyi (October 28, 1955) – A motivational story to dream big and fly high



Indra Nooyi

 Gone are the days when women were supposed to live inside the 4 walls of the house!

That thought process has been changed by countless women and their presence as well as success in every field. The field of business is also full of inspiring sagas of incredible women entrepreneurs around the world.

Hello everyone! I welcome you here again and I want to thank you to drop by; In today’s potion of inspiration, we are going to throw light on the inspiring journey of a businesswoman who succeeded after beating all the odds and got her name Inked forever in the finance world.

She is none other than Indra Nooyi former CEO of PepsiCo. Do you wish to know more about her? read this article till the end! She is best known as one of the most successful businesswomen of our times.

Indra Nooyi’s Background:

Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi was born in a middle-class family in Chennai. She’s always known to break the conservative thought process. She was born in 1955 a time when women’s participation was lessening jobs and it was rare in the business sector. Little Indra Nooyi was full of aspirations and believed in utilizing her strengths to the fullest be it learning to play the guitar or be a part of the old girl’s cricket team.

She did at all at a young age. She finished her schooling at Holy Angels Anglo Indian higher secondary schools and later join Madras Christian college for her graduation offered for BSc side by side studies. She also actively participated in Co-curricular activities like being a part of the female rock band.

Did you see that coming No right?

She does it all at home her mother groomed Indra and her sister. She always pushed for her daughters to do everything they wish to do. It was Indra’s passion and aspirations that after completing her graduation, she wanted to study further and went for the same.

From Chennai to the United States:

Indra Nooyi decided to go with the subject of finance. With hard work, she got admission to IIM Kolkata where she pursued her PG diploma in management.

After completing her PG- diploma, the next step was a job! she initiated her career with a textile company. After working in that firm for a short duration she joined Johnson and Johnson as a product manager. At johnson and johnson, she played a crucial role in the launch of the sanitary napkin “STAYFREE.”

A little ambitious girl hailing from Chennai, at that time became a symbol of women’s empowerment in the nation.

A little did she know her life was about to take a turn. Indra Nooyi’s friends pushed her to apply for Yale University School of Management. Where she did not really want to go there and had no intentions to join the college.

But life is unpredictable as they say! her application was not only accepted but she was also given financial help to complete her degree. The opportunity was luring and she did not want to lose it after convincing her parents. She finally moved to the United States to pursue a Masters’s degree in public and private management.

Indra Nooyi At World Economic Forum

Indra Nooyi At World Economic Forum

To manage the cash crunch she worked as a receptionist so that she could have some savings. This shows her hard work and determination along with her studies. She managed to do a summer internship with Booz Allen Hamilton once she received her degree she wanted to get a decent job.

A Vital attribute of success is to be yourself!

She was in the US. So to fit in the crowd like other youngsters appearing for a job interview, she managed somehow to get her first western suit for an interview.

On the main day, she got ready she was uncomfortable in that clothing. This led to her getting rejected. After the interview, she was very disheartened. With the advice of the professor at yale, she decided to dress up something that she feels comfortable wearing. For the next interview, she wore a sari guess what? she was in!

A lesson learned there was always to be yourself

The journey was not easy:

She started to work with Boston Consulting Group but her struggles did not get over. Being a non-American woman she had to work harder to prove her worth but she did not give up. And then there was no stopping her professional life from blossoming. After Boston Consulting Group she worked in known firms like Motorola, Asia Brown, Boveri and emerged as an own face in the management field in the United States.

Her work! proceeded her name…

It was around this time that she got the attention of Jack Welch former chairman of General Electric and when Callaway former CEO PepsiCo.  She was offered a job by both these giant firms and Indra Nooyi decided to go with PepsiCo as senior VP of strategic planning.

During her professional career with PepsiCo, she played several roles in the firm and played a crucial role in major deals, projects, helping the firm to walk the path of success. Indra Nooyi’s talents and impressive work were not hidden from anyone. This is why she was promoted as the chief financial officer in 2006.  A year later Steven Reinmund the then chairman and CEO of PepsiCo took early retirement due to health issues.

With such an impressive professional career Indra Nooyi was the best person to fill the vacant seat. She was made CEO of the firm and then the chairman of its board of directors. Well, there was no looking back from there.

The epitome of Women Power:

Indra Nooyi revamped and redesigned the company as well as its product portfolio. She divided it into 3 categories namely 1. Fun for you  2. Better for you and 3. Good for you. In 2018 she stepped down as CEO of PepsiCo. Next year in 2019 she was offered to become a part of Amazon’s board of directors.

In fact, she is the second woman to be added to the board of directors of Amazon. With this Indra Nooyi has several achievements and awards in the pocket.

Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi’s Awards & Achievements:

She received an honorary doctorate of Humane letter from the State University of New York at purchase. Indra Nooyi was named as CEO of the year in 2009 by the global supply chain leaders group. She was selected as the chairman of the US India Business Council in 2008.

Indra Nooyi had the support of parents who gave her all the freedom to fly high and did not try to curb her aspirations. During her initial days of the job, she had to face difficulties being a non-American and a woman but all that was small in front of her talent and hard work.

In fact at the time,

She started her career in the finance sector the presence of Indian women was very less in that field. But these facts could not stop her as a self-made woman.

Indra Nooyi continues to inspire all the women and men entrepreneurs out there who dream of making it big one day. I hope you liked the incredibly inspiring potion of Indra Nooyi’s journey in the business world.


Believer of the quote that Humans can never stop learning, Shalini is a graduate in psychology and currently pursuing her Masters. She has donned many hats, from being a professional event manager, lifestyle brands influencer, to being content curator. Shalini is a versatile writer, her writing ranges from everyday motivation, social media quick hacks, brand stories to writing about inspiring individuals. Shalini leads the bandwagon as the CEO at Robust story.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *