Indra Nooyi A Biography Review. This book is captivating, at the same time fills the heart with a sense of enthusiasm and hope. It encourages the reader.
By Ishaan Kali Sarkar | Opening Doorz Editorial | July 06, 2021
Book Review: Indra Nooyi: A Biography
The Essence: The book is captivating, at the same time fills the heart with a sense of enthusiasm and hope. It encourages the reader to dream big. Moreover, Annapoorna’s style of writing is such that it creates a sense of urgency in the mind of the reader who wants to flip the pages in quick succession.
Indra Nooyi A Biography
Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo is an inspiration for millions who aspire to go to the US and want to make a career in the finance and corporate sector. Her story is a rollercoaster ride of struggle, pain, and difficulties. The entire book, chronicling the life and special moments of Indra Nooyi keep the reader engaged and occupied till the end, ensuring they do not lose interest.
The book is a testimony to the fact that hard work, determination and dedication towards one’s job can lead a person to their dream career and help them attain success. The major attraction for the readers of the book is the quote at the beginning of every chapter, which sets the mood for the reader.
Annapoorna takes the reader on a ride through her vivid portrayal of the life and times of this Woman of Substance.
A peek into her early years
Nooyi was born on October 28, 1955, in Chennai. She shares her birth date with Bill Gates. Nooyi has risen to great heights in the corporate world above many of her contemporaries. Nothing to her came on a platter. Despite being a mother to two daughters, a wife and a daughter herself, she makes a perfect balance between her professional and personal life. Throughout her childhood and youth, she took a deep interest in academics especially in the subjects of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. She studied in the prestigious Holy Angels School and then Madras Christian College. This was followed by a Management Degree from IIM Calcutta.
Beyond studies, her interest lay in cricket, singing Carnatic classical music and playing the electric guitar. She also learnt French at the Alliance Francaise. Post IIM Calcutta, she moved to the University of Yales (USA), for higher studies, a step that would change her career path for the best.
Moving West, Indianness intact
Even though Nooyi is a resident of the West and was the former CEO of a western company, she still showcased her Indianness by wearing a sari and applying the sacred vibhuti on her forehead. In her own words, she has never shied away from the fact that she is an Indian and doesn’t intend to. However, she is at home with both cultures. She is considered a tiger in the Board Room but despite all her professional successes, she is still in touch with her priorities—family, friends and her faith.
The book is truly inspiring in the sense that it showcases her grit, hard work and strategies that have led her to the chair of the President of PepsiCo. Under her leadership, the company’s stock doubled. As per industrial analysts, PepsiCo is demonstrated great flexibility in a tough environment under her leadership.
India and Indra
This section of the book is an eye-opener regarding how PepsiCo entered into the arena of Corporate Social Responsibility and is now working to improve the agriculture sector. It is heartwarming to read about the seaweed project in Rameshwaram. Along with Indra Nooyi, as a reader, I too felt that it is an incredible intervention to provide economic upliftment to women. PepsiCo has set up a place in the living areas of the fisherwomen where women collect the seaweed. Mind you, the company does not require the seaweed but the company takes the seaweed, extracts the carrageenan and sells it to the companies that need the carrageenan. This is their social responsibility to improve the economy.
Rocking the Pepsi boat and steering it deftly
This section dwells on how Indra Nooyi managed to infuse Pepsi with her character traits of being frank whilst introducing radical changes to PepsiCo. For instance, in 2010, during the game of the National Football League, PepsiCo did not create advertisements to beat their arch-rival Coca Cola; instead, they decided to spend 20 million dollars on a social media campaign. This campaign offered grants of up to $2, 50,000 to people, businesses or even non-profit companies that have the best ideas to transform society and initiate social change.
As a reader, it is inspiring to read how much she has achieved in her life whilst shattering the glass ceiling which entraps most women achievers. She is among the Forbes ratings of the world most powerful people. Her name tops the list of most powerful women and Indian NRI’s lists. She was also offered the Honorary Doctorate Degree of Commercial Sciences, Honorius Causa, by Pace University. She was also elected to the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Originally published in 2011, this book is captivating, at the same time fills the heart with a sense of enthusiasm and hope. It encourages the reader to dream big. Moreover, Annapoorna’s style of writing is such that it creates a sense of urgency in the mind of the reader who wants to flip the pages in quick succession.
Pic Courtesy: @indranooyi/Instagram