Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi is an Indian-American businesswoman, best known as the former chief executive officer of the PepsiCo company. She has repeatedly appeared in lists of the most powerful and wealthy women in the world, well-known for her dedication to healthy products and equality in the workplace, as well as her keen strategic mind and bold decision-making.

Early life

Nooyi was born on October 28, 1955, in Madras (now known as Chennai) Tamil Nadu, India. Many years before becoming PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi studied in her homeland of India. She attended Madras Christian College at the University of Madras. There, she specialized in science, receiving multiple bachelor’s degrees in the fields of mathematics, chemistry, and physics in 1974.

She then proceeded to the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta to hone her business skills with a post-graduate diploma. In 1978, she began to study at Yale University in the USA, working towards a Master’s degree in Public and Private Management, which she attained in 1980.

Career over view

Indra Nooyi’s success began in her academic studies, and her impressive qualifications helped her obtain a job as a product manager in India with Johnson & Johnson. She also spent time working at the textile company, Mettur Beardsell.

After moving to the US, she attended an internship at Booz Allen Hamilton and later worked as a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. She quickly worked her way up the ranks of the professional world, later obtaining a Vice President role at Motorola and spending some time at the technology firm, ASEA Brown Boveri.

PepsiCo

In 1994 Indra Nooyi joined PepsiCo. She started off as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and held this position for two years, working her way up to the role of Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development, and then the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Eventually, she became President and Chief Financial Officer, and she achieved all of this in her first seven years with the company.

One of the big reasons why Nooyi was such a success at PepsiCo and was able to rise through the ranks so quickly was through her shrewd strategic moves that paid big dividends for the company. Just a year after joining PepsiCo, she oversaw the company’s restructuring, including the divestiture of Tricon, which would later become Yum! Brands. Nooyi was also put in charge of the company’s acquisition of Tropicana in the late 90s, along with other major deals like the Quaker Oats merger.

Some of Nooyi’s decisions were criticized at first, but later proved highly beneficial for the brand, and PepsiCo’s annual net profits more than doubled within the first couple of years of Nooyi’s work. Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo CEO, was quickly recognized as a force to be reckoned with, and upon becoming the CEO of the company, she became known as one of the most powerful and influential women in the business world.

In 2018, Nooyi announced that she was stepping down from the CEO position. She was replaced by Ramon Laguarta, who had been with the company for more than 20 years. Over the course of her time in the position, Nooyi helped the company’s sales improve by 80%, and she decided that the time was right to take a break before moving on to new projects, hoping to help women get more leadership positions and promote equality in the workplace, as well as pursuing endeavours with non-profit organizations in her home state of Connecticut.

Connecticut public service

Since leaving PepsiCo, Nooyi has become the co-director of the Connecticut Economic Resource Centre, helping to develop strategies for the state’s economic growth. In 2020, she was also selected to be part of a team of experts responsible for the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the state of Connecticut. She is also the co-chair of Advance CT, a non-profit organization focused on improving business opportunities in Connecticut.

Remuneration and net worth

While CEO of PepsiCo in 2011, Nooyi earned $17 million, which included a base salary of $1.9 million, a cash bonus of $2.5 million, pension value and deferred remuneration of $3 million. By 2014, her total remuneration had grown to $19,087,832, including $5.5 million of equity. The estimated Net Worth of Indra K Nooyi is at least $16.4 Million dollars as of 15 May 2021.

Awards and accomplishments
  • As well as earning close to $20 million in salary and bonuses during her period as the CEO of PepsiCo, which gave her an extraordinary net worth, Indra Nooyi has received a range of awards and honours throughout her career so far.

 

Year Name Awarding organization
2019 Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters Yale University
2018 Honorary Degree Cranfield University
2015 Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters State University of New York at Purchase
2013 Honorary Degree North Carolina State University
2011 Honorary Doctor of Laws Wake Forest 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
2004 Honorary Doctor of Laws Babson College
  • She was ranked as one of the Best CEOs in the World by CEOWORLD magazine, as well as consistently classing highly on Forbes’ lists of Most Powerful Women. She has been elected to the Fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and appeared on Institutional Investor’s Best CEOs list too.
  • In India, she has been honored with the Padma Bhushan title in 2007, which is the third-highest civilian award the President can bestow, as well as becoming chairwoman of the US-India Business Council.
  • Nooyi has been named 2009 CEO of the Year by Global Supply Chain Leaders Group.
  • In 2009, Nooyi was considered one of “The Top Gun CEOs” by Brendan Wood International, an advisory agency. After five years on top, PepsiCo’s Indian American chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi has been pushed to the second spot as most powerful woman in US business by Kraft’s CEO, Irene Rosenfeld.
  • In 2013, Nooyi was named one of the “25 Greatest Global Living Legends” by NDTV. On 14 December 2013, she was awarded by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • Nooyi was named to Institutional Investors Best CEOs list in the All-America Executive Team Survey in 2008 to 2011.
  • In 2019 Nooyi received the Bower Award for Business Leadership from the Franklin Institute Awards Program.
  • In February 2020, Nooyi was honoured with the Outstanding Woman in Business award by the League of Women Voters of Connecticut.
  • In 2021, Nooyi was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Personal life

Indra Nooyi’s husband is Raj J. Nooyi. He works as the president of Am Soft Systems, and the pair tied the knot in 1981. They have had two children together, both girls. Indra Nooyi’s daughters are named Tara Nooyi and Preetha Nooyi.

 

 

Indra Nooyi’s family includes other famous and successful individuals. Her elder sister, Chandrika Tandon, is an Indian-American musician and businesswoman who has received a Grammy nomination. Her aunt, meanwhile, is Aruna Sairam, a classical vocalist who has performed all over the world.

A big part of Nooyi’s success over the years has been her heart-centred approach. From her early days with PepsiCo right through to the height of her powers, she consistently made decisions based on what was best for people, including both the brand’s customers and its employees.

She wasn’t afraid to make big decisions to pursue profits, but always followed the guidance of her own moral compass. Even when her plans were doubted, she trusted her instincts and strategic planning, and we saw this pay off throughout her time with PepsiCo.

Her leadership style is built around her beliefs of honesty and trust. She was well-known for being honest and open with her teams and employees at PepsiCo and in other roles, welcoming feedback, accepting support, and being a calm head in stressful times. She is an inspiration for upcoming female entrepreneurs, she is been role model foe many of them, Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, who is currently a part of the board of directors at Amazon Inc, gave her country many reasons to be proud.