Indra Nooyi

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Indra Nooyi, Indra K. Nooyi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo, USA, at the Opening Press Conference of the Annual Meeting 2008 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 23, 2008

Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi (born October 28, 1955) is an Indian-born American businesswoman who is credited with restructuring and diversification of soft-drink manufacturer PepsiCo,Inc.’s brands and making it a profitable enterprise. She became CEO of PepsiCo, the second largest food and beverage business in the world by net revenue in 2006. She's been Chairman of the board since 2007. She has consistently ranked among the World's 100 Most Powerful Women. In 2013, she has been ranked 10th in the list of Forbes World's 100 most powerful women.


  • As a CEO, I am finding that I have to become a learning CEO. I have to go to school all the time because I am learning new skills that I need to run this company and I am realising that I am not equipped to just coast, I have to constantly renew my skills.
  • Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader. As a leader I am tough on myself and I raise the standard for everybody; however I am very caring because I want people to excel at what they are doing so that they can aspire to be me in the future.
  • Do you remember campaigns like Keep America Beautiful? What about ‘buckle up’? I believe we need an approach like this to attack obesity. Let us be good industry that does 100% of what is possibly can-not grudgingly, but willingly.
  • [moot issue is that ] we should talk about is not just lessons in leadership or what the leaders need to do today but what can India do to bring those leaders back to India, so India itself can become an even more powerful economy going forward.
    • Quoted in "A Learning CEO Can Power Through Tough Times: Indra Nooyi".
  • You cannot deliver value unless you anchor the company's values. Values make an unsinkable ship." Code of conduct goes beyond legal compliance and every employee needs to be well versed with it.
    • Quoted in "Fundamentals of India are strong: Indra Nooyi".
  • At the end of the day, don’t forget that you are a person, don’t forget you are a mother, don’t forget you are a wife, don’t forget you are a daughter. Because in the end, no matter how much money you make and how much success you create, What you are left is family, friends and faith.
    • Quoted in "Sun Tzu for Women: The Art of War for Winning in Business" in page=113.
  • Bring together what is good for business with what is good for the world.
    • Quoted in "Sun Tzu for Women: The Art of War for Winning in Business", page=131.
  • Each of us in the US - the long middle finger - must be careful that we extend our arm in either a business or political sense, we take pains to assure that we are giving a hand, not the finger. Unfortunately, I think this is how the reset of the world looks at the US right now. Not as part of the hand-giving strength and purpose to the rest of the fingers –but instead scratching our nose and sending a signal.

Stay calm during turbulent times: Indra Nooyi


"Stay calm during turbulent times: Indra Nooyi". The Hindu. 15 November 2013. Retrieved on 18 December 2013. 

  • Turbulence is the beginning of a fruitful process of transformation.
  • First, accept that turbulence is here to stay. Most successful companies are those that stay calm and think down to earth rather than showing aggressiveness to shorten the crisis period.
  • Don’t take an eye on the short term but think long.
  • One should not shy away from creating an environment of adaptability.
  • You cannot deliver value unless you anchor the company’s values. Values make an unsinkable ship.

CEOs need to change: Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi in World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2008

"CEOs need to change: Indra Nooyi". Economic Times. 16 May 2009. Retrieved on 18 December 2013. 

  • Aristotle once said that the unexamined life is not worth living. I think it's time to examine what we do once more in the spirit of a critical friend. Let's pause for a moment to consider what we need to examine.
  • I think there are at least five ways in which job description will change.
  • The CEO has to think long-term and needs to understand the way public and private sectors are coming together and work constructively within that framework. CEOs need to make the phrase "think global and act local" more than a cliche?
  • CEOs need keep an open mind so they can adapt to a rapidly changing world and need to bring an abundant dose of emotional intelligence to the job.
  • The whole perspectives in which companies are viewed needs to shift from short to the long-term, and as I would say, to a focus on shapes, not just numbers.

Top 15 quotes from PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi in Davos in 2010

"Top 15 quotes from PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi". India TV. 12 Nov 2013. pp. 1 to 15. Retrieved on 18 December 2013.  "I will make a prediction, that anybody who's in the [beverage business] today will get into dairy, without a doubt.

  • I grew up in a Hindu household but went to a Roman Catholic school. I grew up with a mother who said, 'I'll arrange a marriage for you at 18,' but she also said that we could achieve anything we put our minds to and encourage us to dream of becoming prime minister or president.
  • To lead in an ever-changing world, leaders must adapt and stay nimble.
  • I'm very honest - brutally honest. I always look at things from their point of view as well as mine. And I know when to walk away.
  • Just because you are CEO, don't think you have landed. You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach the organization. I've never forgotten that.
  • I think innovation as a discipline needs to go back and get rethought and revived. There are so many models to talk about innovation, there are so many typologies of innovation, and you have to find a good innovation metric that truly captures the innovation performance of a company.
  • My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From him I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent.
  • When I grew up there was no web, blogging or tweeting. In fact, where I grew up there was not even television! I met a lot of my friends in school and in college, and they are still my friends today.
  • When you assume negative intent, you're angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response.
  • As a leader, I am tough on myself and I raise the standard for everybody; however, I am very caring because I want people to excel at what they are doing so that they can aspire to be me in the future.
  • I pick up the details that drive the organization insane. But sweating the details is more important than anything else.
  • Anything that's done to address unemployment in terms of massive stimulus spending is going to exacerbate deficits. And anything that's done to address deficits in the short-term is going to exacerbate unemployment.
  • The distance between number one and number two is always a constant. If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself and the organization gets pulled up with you. That is a big lesson. I cannot just expect the organization to improve if I don't improve myself and lift the organization, because that distance is a constant.
  • The one thing I have learned as a CEO is that leadership at various levels is vastly different. When I was leading a function or a business, there were certain demands and requirements to be a leader. As you move up the organization, the requirements for leading that organization don't grow vertically; they grow exponentially.
  • We are in a bit of a policy box and it's going to require us being willing to give up one of the two, which is it's okay to take on more deficits but lets put in some massive spending. Alternatively to say, 'we're going to go through structural unemployment for a while because we want to address deficits.

Narendra Modi question elicits 'no comment' from PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi


Narendra Modi question elicits 'no comment' from PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi. Financial express (12 November 2013). Retrieved on 18 December 2013.

  • Our hope is that whosoever is in power, manages this country consistently for all the potential the country has.
  • I have no comments on political situations. I speak as the CEO of a large multinational company. Countries like India should be successful for the long term because India needs growth.
  • India needs to grow at 7 to 8 per cent to ensure full employment and we all will do our part to invest in India to make sure India achieves its growth potential.
  • We are not guided by elections. We are guided by potential of India. We are not waiting for any election results to invest in India. We are investing in India for its economic story.

About Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi
  • Look, when you pull into the garage, leave the crown there. Don't walk in with it, because you are first a wife and a mother. And if the family needs milk, you go get the milk. That is your primary role in life. Everything else is what you acquired or what you got because I pray for four to five hours a day.' That is the only thing she tells me.
  • Her mother’s advice quoted in "Fundamentals of India are strong: Indra Nooyi". Economic Times. 15 November 2013. Retrieved on 18 December 2013. 
  • One such way was to do with her lifelong love of cricket. No one in this country (the US) followed the game, but they did follow baseball, another bat-and-ball sport. So she threw herself into baseball and into the local team, the New York Yankees, reading everything she could on the subject until she could comfortably talk about it.
    • Quoted in "How PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi gave up cricket for baseball".
  • Nui is a different kind of CEO. He says her approach boils down to balancing the profit motive by making healthier snacks (in speech to the food industry, she pushed the group to tackle obesity), striving for a net zero impact on the environment and taking care of your workforce. She was one of the first executives to realize that the health and green movements were just not fads and she demanded true innovation.
  • As someone who has always aspired to build a company committed to its people and to the world, I admire her determination to achieve sustainability at an established company like Pepsi Co. And I believe that all socially responsible companies could learn from Indra Nooyi’s style of leadership.
    • Herbart Schultz, President and CEO, Starbucks quoted in "Together with Business Studies XI" in page=135.
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