Indira Nooyi: CEO of PepsiCo, Once Worked At Night Shifts to Pay Her College Fees


Indira Nooyi is perhaps the most renowned female name in today’s corporate world. The CEO of PepsiCo has been known as the second most powerful woman in the world.

But success did not come easily to Indira. She is one of those very few who hails from a poor background and make it to the top in the corporate world.

However, much like her success, her journey also has been equally inspiring and empowering.

Indra Nooyi addressing her first ever press conference in India, in New Delhi, 2006. (Photo Credit: Manish Swarup)

Indira Krishnamurthy Nooyi was raised in a Tamil family and during her college days, she used to work in night shifts so as to pay the tuition fees.

After her graduation, Indira joined Johnson and Johnson. As her career graph escalated, she switched into various reputed companies which gave her an exemplary background.

After working with companies like Motorola and Boston Consultancies at top level hierarchies, she joined PepsiCo in 1994.

She renovated PepsiCo with through restructuring of company’s framework and aggressive media campaigns. She also led the acquisition of Tropicana in 1997.

As a result of her remarkable footprints on end decade sales, she was appointed as CFO in 2001.

Under her leadership, Pepsico’s annual net profit rose from $2.7 billion to $6.5 billion. And, later, in 2006 she was finally declared as the CEO and president of PepsiCo.

Indira Nooyi became the first woman CEO of PepsiCo.

If there is one evident icon of women empowerment in today’s corporate India, it is Indira Nooyi. From a regular Tamil family, she has risen to become CEO of world’s largest soft drink and beverage brand. She almost has a dominating influence over FMCG market in India and her street smart vision and accuracy in execution is something to learn from.

Today, Fortune has listed Indira as the second-most powerful woman in world and Forbes has ranked her at #13 on world’s most powerful business person ‘s list.