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PepsiCo’s Star CEO Indra Nooyi Success Story

Updated on September 21, 2023 , 14414 views

Indra Nooyi is an Indian-American entrepreneur and business executive. She is the former and most renowned Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PepsiCo.

She is one of the most popular entrepreneurs in the world. In 2008, Nooyi was elected as the chairwoman of the US-India Business Council. In 2009, she was named as the ‘TopGun CEOs’ by Brendan Wood International. In 2013, Nooyi was awarded by the former President of India Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. In 2014, she was ranked #13 on Forbes site of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women and was ranked as #2 on Fortune’s list of most Powerful Women.

PepsiCo’s Star CEO Indra Nooyi

She was also ranked #3 on Forbes list of the World’s Powerful Moms. In 2008, she was known as one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News and World Report. From 2008 to 2011, Nooyi was named as Best CEO on the All-America Executive Team Survey conducted by Institutional investor. In 2018, she was named as one of the Best CEOs in the World by CEOWORLD magazine.

Nooyi also serves as a member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum, International Rescue Committee, Catalyst and the Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts.

She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Eisenhower Fellowships. She is the former chairperson of the U.S.-India Business Council. She is also an honorary co-chair for the World Justice Project and also serves as a member on Amazon’s board of directors. Alongside, she is a successor fellow of the Yale Corporation and is the first female director on the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Details Description
Born Indra Nooyi (Previously Indra Krishnamurthy)
Birthdate October 28, 1955
Age 64 Years
Birthplace Madras, India (now Chennai)
Citizenship United States
Education Madras Christian College (BS), Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (MBA), Yale University (MS)
Occupation CEO of PepsiCo
Salary $25.89 million

Indra Nooyi Salary

Nooyi is paid 650 times the average Earnings of a Pepsico employee. Yes, you read that right. Indra Nooyi became the second-highest-paid female CEO and seventh highest-paid CEO globally with a salary of $25.89 million (Rs. 168.92 Crore).

Indra Nooyi Early Life

Indra Nooyi was born in Chennai and completed her schooling in Holy Angels Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in T. Nagar. She went on to complete her graduation from Madras Christian College in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Along with this, she also completed a post-graduate programme and a master’s degree in Public and Private Management in 1980 from Yale School of Management.

After her studies, she joined the Boston Consulting Group in 1980 as a strategy consultant. During working life, she once mentioned that she had to work harder than her male counterparts to prove that she was worthy of the job. But she made sure to never compromise with the quality of her work.

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Indra Nooyi’s Pathway to Success with Pepsico

In 1994, Nooyi joined Pepsico as a senior vice president of corporate strategy development. Within a few years, her skills and determination earned the position of being appointed as president and chief financial officer of the company.

She went to conduct some major restructuring of the company. With insightful strategies in place, she had Pepsico witness a spin-off of its restaurants including KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell- into Tricon Global Restaurants, now known as Yum Brands, Inc. In 1998, the company acquired Tropicana products and also witnessed a merger with Quaker Oats Co. in 2001.

In 2006, Indra became the CEO and also took up the position of the chairperson of the board in the following year. This feat made Indra the first woman to lead the soft-drink and snack company. She became one of the only 11 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

Many people appreciated her work ethics and the great development she would bring to the company. She continued her job with strategy and pursued international expansion. Under her leadership and strategy, PepsiCo’s revenues increased from $35 billion in 2006 to $63.5 billion in 2017. PepsiCo's annual net profit rose from $2.7 billion to $6.5 billion.

Nooyi also introduced a strategic redirection for PepsiCo called Performance with a Purpose which has gained a hugely positive response. It has impacted society and the environment in a positive manner. Under this strategy, she reclassified PepsiCo’s products into three categories. It is mentioned below:

  • Fun for You- Potato chips and regular soda
  • Better for You- Diet or low-fat version of snacks and soda
  • Good for you- Items like Oatmeal

This initiative attracted good funding from the public. She helped move corporate spending toward healthier alternatives along with the aim of improving the health Factor for the category of fun for you. In 2015. Nooyi removed aspartame from Diet Pepsi, making it a healthier alternative.

This strategy also focused on reducing waste, conserving water, renewable energy sources and recycling. According to a report, in 2020, company-operated U.S. facilities are using 100% renewable electricity.

Another phase of Performance with Purpose was to create a culture for employees to stay encouraged in the company. Nooyi took the first step to write to the parents of her leadership team and visited their homes to create a personal connection.

In 2018, Nooyi stepped down from the position of CEO but worked as a member of the board of directors till 2019. Under her, PepsiCo's sales grew 80%.


Indra Nooyi is the epitome of determination and innovation. Her innovative thinking skills combined with planning and courage has made her one of the best women entrepreneurs on the planet.

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