Indra Nooyi: Indian Woman Entrepreneur

Indra Nooyi
Indra Nooyi is known to us all as the popular Chief Financial Officer and President of PepsiCo industries. However, like all beginnings hers too was a humble one. The highest ranking Indian-born woman entrepreneur in the US today hails from a common middle class Tamil family. But she did not become one of most successful Indian women by following convention. As a teenager, Indra Nooyi played cricket for a team and also managed to play guitar for a rock band. In a manner of saying she managed to be 'improper' by Indian standards for a girl; probably, there lies the secret of her success.

Educational Background: The Roots
Indra Nooyi has a bachelors degree in maths and physics but she did not become one of the most successful women in business with that. She did her MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata and took up her first job with Tootal, a British textile company. Her first big break came with the Stayfree account at Johnson & Johnson where she worked for 6 years. But she found herself under-prepared for someone destined to become one of the greatest Indian woman entrepreneurs.

USA Here I Come...
Indra Nooyi pursued higher studies from Yale University in Public and Private Management communications. The importance of communication as a marketing strategy that she learned at Yale stayed with her and prodded her to become one of the best Indian woman entrepreneurs. She struggled for 2 years, the duration of her course, with finances and reportedly had no money to buy business suits. This woman CEO of the future attended her business school and her first interviews in a saree!

Motorola, PepsiCo And The Success Story Begins:
After completing her degree in 1980 she went work for a Boston Business Solutions Consultancy where she got her on-the-job experience for business strategy. Being the achiever that she is her next jump was to Motorola, then known as ABB. Her 6 years there were very productive and laid the foundation for her 'dream job' at PepsiCo. In 1994, she made that path breaking move to PepsiCo and was soon promoted to the post of CFO.

The Visionary Strategist:
Successful women in business are few and far but here is a woman very much worth her salt. She sealed crucial deals for PepsiCo like buying off the Tropicana juice line and acquisition of Quaker Oats. She has been in the front line for business communications of the global cola giant Pepsi and handles their marketing strategies single-handed. Need we say more about this charismatic Indian woman who has managed to avoid the lime light in spite of her legendary success.

The Mother, Wife At Home:
Indra Nooyi is married to Raj, who in her words is a 'fantastically supportive husband'. They have two daughters. In spite of breaking the glass ceiling and becoming a top corporate in the US, she retains her belief in the good luck of Ganesha and her family values. A Indian woman who is truly an inspiration.

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    Read more about: urban life personality business
    Story first published: Tuesday, August 9, 2011, 16:54 [IST]
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