|Indra Nooyi: |
|A Leader and a Woman of Substance |
|CEO Rhetorical Analysis |
|EXPO E34 |
|HES, Fall 2010 |
|Prof. Julie Anne McNary |
“I know what it’s like to be an outsider. I’ve experienced it firsthand,” Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Nooyi is the current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo, which is one of the global leaders in the consumer food and beverage industry. Born on October 28, 1955, in Chennai (formerly named Madras), south of India, Nooyi is the middle child of Krishnamurthy, an accountant and Shantha, a homemaker. Her older sister Chandrika Tandon and younger brother Narayan Krishnamurthy are both entrepreneurs. She is married to Raj Kishan Nooyi, an engineer and management consultant. They have two daughters Preetha, 26 and Tara, 17. The family resides in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Although Hindu by faith, Nooyi attended Madras Christian College (MCC), a Roman Catholic School, where she broke the rules of convention. She played the guitar and formed an all-female rock band. She was the only female member amongst a group of boys who would run to catch the train to get to the city and solicit funding for the college paper. Nooyi was well rounded into the arts, music, drama and languages. She also joined the all-girls cricket team and has a passion for sports.
Nooyi’s family belonged to India’s middle class with traditional beliefs and conservative practices. Her mother, Shantha made sure that her daughter was grounded to Indian traditions. She would tell Nooyi, “you’ve got to be a good Indian woman first, but go ahead and dream. And I’ll arrange a marriage for you at 18.”
In 1974, Nooyi completed her bachelor’s degree at MCC majoring in chemistry, physics and mathematics. She went on to pursue a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with concentration in finance and marketing at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM). After earning her MBA in 1976, Nooyi landed her first job at Mettur Beardshell Ltd., a textile company. She then moved to Johnson and Johnson and worked as product manager. In 1978, Nooyi applied to Yale University’s School of Management (SOM) for a second master’s degree. She got accepted into the program with full scholarship.
Nooyi smoothly adapted to life in the United States. The SOM program at Yale was a perfect fit for her intellectual ability and practical approach to business. While in school, Nooyi struggled financially and later opted to work the graveyard hours as a receptionist. She wore her saris to work since she did not have money to buy a business suit. She was able to save $50 and bought trousers that were too long. She applied for a job wearing her western outfit but was turned down. Nooyi found herself in tears and approached her professor for advice. He simply told her to be herself. In her next interview she wore a sari and was hired immediately.
In 1980, Nooyi graduated from Yale University with a master’s degree in public and private management. She was hired by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and worked for six years as director of international corporate strategy projects. Nooyi moved to Motorola in 1986 and was promoted as vice president and director of corporate strategy two years after. In 1990, she joined Asea Brown Boveri Inc. (ABB), a Swedish company focused on manufacturing industrial equipment and power plants around the world. She served as senior vice president and director of corporate strategy and strategic marketing. Nooyi forged ABB’s corporate division...
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