News » National

Updated: January 25, 2014 03:15 IST

Indra Nooyi attributes her success to Indian upbringing

Comment (8)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Indra Nooyi
The Hindu
Indra Nooyi

In the midst of business talks and meetings, India-born Indra Nooyi on Friday recalled how her views underwent a sea change after a visit to her mother in Chennai soon after she became PepsiCo chief in 2006.

While talking about the need for CEOs to engage and bond with the employees at a personal level, Ms. Nooyi said, “When I became CEO in 2006, I went to visit my mother in Chennai. The next morning she asked me to wake up and I said I am on a vacation and want to sleep till noon, but she refused and said people were coming home.”

“When friends and relatives came, they all told my mother that she had got a great daughter. But it is not about me, but about my parents who brought me up so well,” Ms. Nooyi said.

Ms. Nooyi, who is PepsiCo’s Chairman and CEO, is here to participate in the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting.

“So when I came back, I wrote to parents of all my directors thanking them for bringing up their respective children so well that I got them as directors. It was an emotional decision and all of them replied very emotionally,” she said.

Narrating another incident, Ms. Nooyi said there was an individual whom the company was trying to hire but he had another offer. Since the company was very keen on hiring him, Ms. Nooyi said she spoke to the individual’s mother.

“I called her [his mother] and when he went home, he told her he had two offers but he would not join PepsiCo. But her mother insisted that he join PepsiCo and he had to join us,” she said, sending the audience into peals of laughter.

According to the PepsiCo chief, it is bad to see that parents today pay tuition fees for their children, but do not see their report cards. “I have always insisted on getting the report cards,” she said.

Talking about the young population, Ms. Nooyi said she has got “two of them at home and this generation is well-informed.”

“I hear my own daughters talking about big companies polluting the environment and then I realise they are talking about companies of which one I am running.

“But when I tell them to read the things we are doing, then they realise we are doing good things. But millennials are really a great lot,” she observed.

Social media

On social media, Ms. Nooyi said it had actually made things worse for people.

“Someone told me that whatever you do, will be in public domain. It is not easy to accept that whenever we go out, we have to be always conscious about what we are talking, what we are doing, what we are wearing.

“It is not easy living in that little glass house. Many people on social media do not have accountability. All of us CEOs are learning to live in this environment, as this is the real life today. It is like a reality show for all of us,” she said.

Keywords: Indra NooyiPepsiCo

More In: National | News

Thank God she decided to pursue her professional career in the US. If
she had stayed in Chennai, she would have been mired in the caste and
quota politics and we would never have known her. Lack of meritocracy in
Tamil Nadu and in India as a whole is pushing talent to Western
countries. It is time we considered need-based government assistance for
education rather than to what caste or creed one is born to which the
individual has no personal control over.

from:  mathur kannan
Posted on: Jan 25, 2014 at 23:16 IST

Salute to Indra Nooyi!Despite holding a huge post she attributes her Indian upbringing. Her feelings and the thinkings are immensely appreciable. She is highly expected to guide the YOUTH brigade of the prevailing age, so that they can achieve a proper way to lead their life. Salute once again.

from:  Mousmi Ghosh
Posted on: Jan 25, 2014 at 21:53 IST

While I always admired ms.nooyi [being from tamilnadu] this attributing success to the parents is universal. One just have look into bill gates interviews and bio. Same can be said of many successful people in the west.

from:  krishnamurthy
Posted on: Jan 25, 2014 at 17:48 IST

I wish she had highlighted the values of the earlier well administered
Joint family system prevailed till a generation ago.Under the head of a
strong and dedicated head of the family it inculcated sense of
sharing,understanding,sacrifice and caring for one another in the family
which extended to the community as well.

from:  V.Viswanathan
Posted on: Jan 25, 2014 at 15:15 IST

It is patriotic on her part to have praised family values and enabling emotional environment which molded her will to contribute and face challenges as CEO of Pepsi Co. a multinational corporate house.Her bringing up and the peers abroad who spotted talents in her way of management are also contributing factors.She possesses oratory and excellent communication skills which make her close to her colleagues.The precise pristine qualities of Indian Family way of life need elaboration.Nostalgic feeling is one thing and monetary success along with power is another thing.Many times these nostalgia are hypocritical.It will be highly educational if the specific values of Indian Compound Family System are elaborated.India belongs to rural mostly, but the voices are from urban educated elite abroad who suffer from unique identification and feel third grade in the country of employment.Indian Council of Social Science Research may study the successful men and women abroad as a beacon for others

from:  Dr K V Peter
Posted on: Jan 25, 2014 at 12:58 IST

Value based life as passed on from an earlier generation expressed in simple terms. The role of parents in the upbringing of children could not have been exemplified in a more effective fashion with personal anecdotes.

from:  R.Vijaykumar
Posted on: Jan 25, 2014 at 07:05 IST

I have been very much amazed by this woman who had wonderfully travelled from what we call a conservative Chennai to United States as a CEO of PepsiCo. There are many good lessons to be learnt from her and certainly our Indian youth should see some of her speeches ( all in youtube ) and get a positive vibe. Indian People needs positive approach and the willingness to learn to come out of our ignorance shell. Truly Business Class!!!

from:  Ananth
Posted on: Jan 25, 2014 at 06:43 IST

Even to acknowledge and give credit for parents for their efforts in the
upbringing of the children is very much Indian. Atleast I have felt so,
for most of the educated parents of my generation and my parents'
generation spent more time on Children and the result is a couple
generations with upbringing duly inculcated with a sense of good value

Posted on: Jan 25, 2014 at 06:27 IST
Show all comments
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Tamil Nadu

Andhra Pradesh

Other States






Recent Article in National

Congress president Sonia Gandhi consoles a woman while meeting farmers who suffered losses due to unseasonal rains in Rae Bareli on Saturday.

Rahul will be back ‘soon’: Sonia

Congress chief visits farmers who have been affected by unseasonal rains and hailstorm and also families who lost their members in the Bachrawan train accident. »