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Indra Nooyi’s Inspiring Life Story Is One More Proof That Impossible Is Nothing

Source | LinkedIn : By Rachna Sharma

Indra Nooyi was born Indra Krishnamurthy on October 28, 1955 in a conservative middle-class family in Chennai, then called Madras. Her father worked as an official of the State Bank of Hyderabad.

She studied at the Holy Angels Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in Madras. Indra always speaks of the influence her mother has had on her values since childhood.

Indra’s mother, who was a housewife, did not go to college as her parents thought girls should not study and it was too expensive.

So, she always encouraged Indra and her sister Chandrika to “Dream Big”.

She even made a pact with her daughters that if their grades were not good, she would get them married at 18. This pact motivated the sisters to get good grades.

Also, Indra’s mother would every night after dinner ask the girls to give speeches. She would tell them to pretend to be the Prime Minister, President and Chief Minister and give a speech.

She would then critique the girls and in the process, Indra and her sister were given the value of feedback and importance of expertise (Confident You, The Presenter In You). Indra’s sister Chandrika is a Grammy nominated musician.

With her parents’ encouragement, Indra studied physics, chemistry and mathematics from Madras Christian College from where she graduated in 1974. During her college days, Indra says, she played the guitar in a rock band and seriously played cricket in an all-women’s team. Being a brilliant student, Indra earned a seat in prestigious IIM-Calcutta, from where she completed MBA in 1976.

Her first job was at Tootal, a British textile company which had extensive holdings in India. Eventually, she moved to Johnson & Johnson as a product manager. Her job with Johnson & Johnson was quite a challenging one as she was responsible for managing the introduction of Stayfree sanitary napkins to India.

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