(Indra Nooyi is the CEO of PepsiCo and recently released her book My Life in Full: Work, Family, and our Future. This excerpt first appeared in The Hindu on September 28, 2021)
- In November 2009, the CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, found herself standing between U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. Mr. Obama began the introductions. When he got to her, Dr. Singh exclaimed, “Oh! But she is one of us!” Without missing a beat Mr. Obama responded, “Ah, but she is one of us, too!” In her new book, My Life in Full: Work, Family, and our Future, Ms. Nooyi says she belongs in both worlds. She writes: “I am still the girl who grew up in a close family in Madras… I am also the woman who arrived in the U.S. at age twenty-three to study and work, and somehow, rose to lead an iconic company, a journey that I believe is possible only in America.” An excerpt from the book:
- The phone rang again. This time, it was a recruiter asking if I’d interview for the position of senior vice president of corporate strategy and planning at PepsiCo, the beverage, snack, and restaurant company. The role included overseeing fifty high-potential executives, new hires who came into the planning department for eighteen months or so and were then rolled into management jobs throughout the company. Mentoring and training were to be a big part of the job. I thought twice about going into a consumer business. Much as I knew I could learn anything, after eight years at Motorola and ABB, I was steeped in engineering, technology, and massive infrastructure projects. When I heard that PepsiCo also owned KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, I wondered if the job was really for me. I don’t eat meat. How could I relate to these restaurants?
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