Over a decade now, Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, the mind behind the global strategy of the food & beverage giant PepsiCo, has undoubtedly been one of the most iconic leaders in the global industrial landscape. While assessing the profound changes in the American eating and drinking habits, the current CEO of PepsiCo, powerfully asserts ‘performance with purpose’ that puts forth her leadership vision to motivate people for giving their best and replicate a holistic impact in the society.
For Nooyi, leadership has been a calling, ever since her childhood days. Over more than two decades, she has placed an undeniable stamp on the company’s performance— turning it into one of the most profitable and diverse organisation in the USA. Once dismissed as a soda and snack marketer in a health-conscious marketplace, PepsiCo has, thereon, transformed its portfolio during the superwoman’s tenure.
A Chennai-native, the lady strongly believes that leadership is a very personal trait and depends largely on one’s perspective to have a revolutionary outlook. While back in school, she was a part of the all-girls’ cricket team, and even played guitar in an all-female rock band. A revolutionist by nature, her success mantra has always revolved around developing a coping mechanism and global perspective.
Spoken about everywhere, the global giant has resolutely believed in a 5C model that has helped her become a successful leader—competence, courage, communication, confidence and compass. Additionally, she envisaged to foresee the future—a change of taste taking place, wherein the consumers were moving towards healthier lifestyles. Keeping these in mind, it was under her leadership that brought about the diversification of the company into new products within the field of packaged foods. She was also the brain behind the formation of a separate brand in 1997 for its restaurants, – Tricon. The brand is currently known as Yum! Brands which made its KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell.
Ought to keep pushing the boundaries to incorporate flawless execution, Nooyi’s success mantra sets around achieving flawless competence as the ultimate goal. She strongly recommends the need to have agile & collaborative leaders—making something
out of nothing! “One needs to look for wickedly smart people,” she believes.
Speaking on the Indian context, Nooyi considers Indians to deal better with the VUCA world. Focusing on innovation instead of acquisition, PepsiCo has been debuting new product lines, targeted marketing and repackaging efforts since 2009. Recently, the company has also reserved 100 of Tesla’s new electric semi-trucks.
The feature compiles the leadership lessons from industry experts analyzing their journey towards success