born 1955

Indra Nooyi wowed the world when she became both the first female and the first Indian CEO of PepsiCo in 2006. Her mother was less impressed ~ famously sending her daughter out to buy milk before she would hear the news.

Humility + respect for family have served Indra well on her rise from top student in her native Chennai to Yale grad to corporate star. A manager who unapologetically contacts parents of workers she values {or wants to hire}, Indra has deftly overseen Pepsi's record international expansion, while shifting its focus from iconic sugary treats towards healthy options for the whole family.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Indra Nooyi (18)

"People these days are bringing their principles to their purchasing. We, in return, are bringing a purpose to our performance."

speech | 2007

"What I would not do is flaunt my Indianess by wearing a saree to work everyday, because it distracts from the job...I have never shied away from the fact that I am an Indian and I don't intend to, but you can be at home with both cultures."

Personal side of Indra Nooyi | february 2007

"To be a CEO is a calling. You should not do it because it is a job. It is a calling and you have got to be involved in it with your head, heart and hands."

The personal side of Indra Nooyi | february 2007

"The order is mother, CEO and wife."

I'm a mother first, CEO second: Nooyi | september 2007

"At the end of the day, don't forget that you're a person, don't forget you're a mother, don't forget you're a wife, don't forget you're a daughter...[when your job is done] what you're left is family, friends, and faith."

The Interview Archive {quoted in US News and World Report} | march 2008

"Let mentors find you. If you ask someone to be your mentor and they agree, they probably aren't going to push you as hard as someone who is grooming you for the next level."

Keynote: Catalyst Awards Dinner {as reported in the Glass Hammer} | april 2008

"Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader."

CNBC {transcript on Alliance for Women} | june 2008

"The distance between number one and number two is always a constant. If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself and the organization gets pulled up with you."

january 2012

"There were many times that I felt like a fish out of water, times that I really said to myself, 'do I even fit in?'"

Taking People With You | march 2012

"Sit up, sit at the table and speak with confidence. That's half the battle won."

Global Summit of Women | june 2013

"Values make an unsinkable ship."

Stay Calm During Turbulent Times | november 2013

"I am not equipped to just coast; I have to constantly renew my skills."

A Learning CEO Can Be A Power During Tough Times | december 2013

"I don't think women can have it all. I just don't think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all."

Why PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi Can't Have it All | july 2014

"Dig deep. Be curious. Have an insatiable appetite to find out the back-story behind the story. Because, once you get into the details and really understand what's going on, the quality of your decision-making will be richer."

MAKERS profile | october 2014

"Life would be so much easier if we all assumed positive intent of each other."

MAKERS profile | october 2014

"Diversity is a necessity, not a choice."

MAKERS profile | october 2014

"You have to have your feet firmly planted before you can let your mind wander."

Dialogue between Indra Nooyi and Winton Marsalis | 2015

"Every morning you’ve got to wake up with a healthy fear that the world is changing."

Harvard Business Review | september 2015
  • Quotabelle profile
  • Indra Nooyi

curated with care by Kathleen Murray {january 2015}