Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi is an Indian-American businesswoman who is currently the Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo which is the world’s second largest food and beverage business in terms of net revenue. She is one of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women as ranked by Forbes magazine.
Indra Nooyi was born on 28th October 1955 in Madras, India. She received her initial schooling from the Holy Angels Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School. She got her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics in 1974 from Madras Christian College and in 1976 did a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. Nooyi started her career in India as a product manager in Johnson & Johnson and then Mettur Beardsell, a textile company. At a time when it was not considered appropriate for good conservative girls to move alone to other countries Nooyi went to the United States where she entered the Yale School of Management in 1978 and completed her Master’s degree in Public and Private Management. After graduating in 1980 she started working at the Boston Consulting Group and later on joined Motorola and Asea Brown Boveri, where she held strategy posts.
Nooyi began working with PepsiCo in 1994 as its chief strategist. Soon she became a key member of the company and took part in important decision making. She advised PepsiCo to redesign its brand identity and assets. She was also a lead negotiator in several high level contracts. She was the main deal maker for two acquisitions particularly; one was the $3.3 billion deal for the purchase of the orange juice Tropicana in 1998 and Quaker Oats for $14 billion in 2000. After this significant deal in business history, several more snack foods and cereals were added in the Pepsi Empire. She also assisted in the acquisition of the drink maker SoBe for $337 million. After seeing her impressive talents, Indra Nooyi was promoted to the position of chief financial officer in February 2000 which made her the first highest ranked Indian woman working in America. She became the President of the company and its chief financial officer in May 2001. After she joined Pepsi and assumed her responsibilities, PepsiCo’s revenues have risen 72% and the profits doubled. As the CEO of the company in 2011 she got a total compensation of $17 million.
Nooyi is the member of the Board of Trustees of Yale Corporation and the governing board of Yale University. Her success landed her on the ‘Contenders’ list of Time magazine in 2003. She was on the Wall Street Journal’s list of 50 women to watch in 2007 and 2008. Indra Nooyi was also listed among Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2007 and 2008. According to Forbes magazine she was the 3rd most powerful woman of 2008 and the number 1 in 2009 and 2010. Nooyi has gotten several honors, awards and international recognition which also include many honorary degrees and the Padma Bhushan which is the most prestigious award of India. Contrary to the popular belief of her community she did get married to an Indian man named Raj K. Nooyi. They have two children. She resides with her family in Greenwich, Connecticut.