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Indra Nooyi

Quotes to inspire business leaders and CEOs from the very top

The articulate Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo

Ranked the second most powerful woman in business by Forbes in 2017, Indra Nooyi has been consistently listed in TIME’s 100 Most Influential People.

She was so successful as CEO at PepsiCo, the company is now held up as a case study of good citizenship.

Indra Nooyi was responsible for almost doubling PepsiCo's revenues before she stepped down as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in October 2018. 

As Australia's leading executives snap up the limited tickets to two first class dinner events in June 2019, we thought it apt to present some compelling Indra Nooyi quotes.

"I'll pay for it"  (Nooyi's famous statement that she wished Jeff Bezos of Amazon would take a very long vacation) "Every aspect of every vertical he's disrupting. Every retailer would chip in for the Jeff Bezos fund. 

“The biggest surprise in becoming CEO. was that when you ascend to the number one job, you are 'it' - as they say.”

“People talk about a honeymoon period, but there really isn’t a honeymoon period, because from day one you are the CEO.”

“When you are the CEO, especially of such a large company, there’s only one priority, and that priority is being CEO.”

"Somebody gives me a complex problem I become a student. I don't care that I'm CEO, or president, or CFO. I become a student."

"I'm not just a CEO. I'm also a consumer."

“When people say 'culture eats strategy', I lived it first-hand.”

“Once you start to change the culture of the company, everything else happens fast.”

“There’s no question it’s lonely, but you’ve got to create your own ecosystem, and your own kitchen cabinet, so you can sort of alleviate some of the loneliness without giving away any confidential information.”

“Hopefully as the numbers get bigger — and I hope they do — nobody’s looking at us as women CEOs, but just as leaders of big enterprises.”

“Corporations have a key role to play in protecting our planet.”

“When you have a competence that nobody else has, you become more valuable.”

"At the end of the day, companies like ours are little republics. PepsiCo’s market capitalisation makes us bigger than many countries around the world."

"I think we all have to develop adaptation strategies, because if we don’t, we’re going to start feeling resentful or angry with whatever’s happening around us."

"You have to constantly think about taking the risk versus retreating to safe positions."

"I’d say that when you become a CEO and you’re a woman, you are looked at differently."

“Think of me as a brain wrapped in ways you’re not familiar with.”

“It’s very hard to learn science later on in life. One of the pleas I would have for most young people today is, ‘stay with STEM as long as you can’.”

“The thing we have to be careful about is not trying to accelerate into the big leagues something that is still on the edge, and something that people are still getting comfortable with.”

“We had to line up the entire company’s innovation, marketing, execution, and budgets to go where this marketplace was going, and then we had to change the culture of this company.”

“We must be lifelong students to succeed.”

“When we first invested in kevita and kombucha (fermented drinks) it was still an emerging trend.”

“I believe in diversity and gender equality as core values, not only for our business but also for society.”

“What I admire about our global team is an incredible drive to compete – to be the best, to remain the best.”

“Leading the @PepsiCo family has been the privilege of a lifetime, and saying goodbye will be one of the hardest things I do.”

“(My husband) Raj always says, you know what, your list is PepsiCo, PepsiCo, PepsiCo, our two kids, your mom, and then on the bottom of the list is me.  (I said), ‘You should be happy you're on the list!’”

“From my perspective, my mom says “Leave the crown in the garage.” Fine, I left it in the garage. I’ve been married 37 years to the same guy. I don’t think I could have balanced all of this, had I brought my crown into the house every day.”

“I love you, but I’d love you more if you came home.”  (quoting from a letter written by her then four year old daughter)

"You have to cope, because you die with guilt. You just die with guilt."

(Sources: Forbes, Twitter, Freakonomics, New York Times, CNBC)  

PepsiCo former CEO and current Chair Indra Nooyi is appearing live in Australia for the very first time at an exclusive dinner event in both Melbourne and Sydney in June 2019, hosted by The Growth Faculty. To secure tickets to this executive leader event, click here. 

Members receive discounts to events hosted by The Growth Faculty. To become a member and get access to our popular online business book club, with interviews with international business authors and highlights from past speaker events, click here.