In the Spotlight: Indra Nooyi

A role model for women round the globe, Indra Nooyi is among those business leaders who capture the spirit of progress, and help shape a vibrant and inclusive economic future. President of PepsiCo is stepping down from her position and moving on from the company on October 3, this year.

Nooyi holds the credit for turning the firm from a simple carbonated drinks business to a health oriented food and beverages company. Under her leadership, PepsiCo’s revenue grew by over 80% and the company claims to add a new billion-dollar brand every other year. The company commented on Nooyi’s parting ways and said that under her leadership PepsiCo “developed new design and e-commerce capabilities, a business which generated $1 billion in annual retail sales last year.”

Consistently ranked among the world’s most powerful women, Nooyi is ranked among the top female executives in the United States. An inspiration to many, and an influential leader, Nooyi has been the reason for positive expansion and diversification of PepsiCo during her tenure.

Nooyi holds the opinion that there is no need to focus on removing barriers to women’s progress. “In many ways, I think after stepping down as CEO, I can work with other women to figure out how to get them to c-suite positions and be their mentor and supporter,” she told PTI.

In her 12-year journey as the CEO, Indra Nooyi received quite a few illustrious awards and achievements, and steered the company toward profit making.

The Hits and Misses

Indra introduced a number of new innovations during her tenure. And while some of them were a major success, a few didn’t live up to the mark.

Upon realising the importance of health in the food and beverage world, Nooyi led the acquisition of Tropicana and the merger with Quaker Oates. This move was highly profitable for the company.

Photo: PepsiCo

In September 2016, under the leadership of Nooyi, PepsiCo gave a choice of two new diet Pepsi flavours. One version was sold in light blue packaging and labelled ‘classic sweetener blend’ and the other contained sucralose, an artificial sweetener better known as Splenda, which was sold in Diet Pepsi’s silver packaging.

However, there have also been some discontinued Pepsi flavours over the years. Pepsi introduced Pepsi Natural in 2008, a soda without any artificial preservatives and sweeteners. The flavour was discontinued in 2010, due to poor sales. Diet Pepsi Jazz was also discontinued in 2009 due to similar reasons. The very famous berry flavoured “Pepsi Blue” also faced an embarrassing failure.

Nonetheless, Indra Nooyi’s inclination toward healthy alternatives and flavours made the company reach new heights with increased profits even after some failures.

The Female Boss

Indra Nooyi has been consistently ranked in the list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women on Forbes magazine.

During her regime as the CFO in 2000, the company’s yearly revenue rose to 72% and the net profit more than doubled to $5.6 in 2006.

An excellent strategist, Indra worked wonders for the company and has always been recognised for her impressive work. The 62-year-old leader has been an inspiration to many people worldwide.

The Padma Bhushan awardee is known as the iron woman of PepsiCo. She led the company to be the second most powerful beverage company in the world. Nooyi is incredibly proud of how the company has turned out in the past 12 years.

With subtle grace and great vision, Indra opened new doors of business for PepsiCo. Women around the world will always look up to the “lady boss” of the world.

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