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File photo of former PepsiCo Indian American CEO Indra Nooyi speaking during the Watermark Conference For Women 2020 at the San Jose Convention Center on Feb. 12, 2020 in San Jose, California. (Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images for Watermark Conference for Women)

I enjoyed reading Neera Kuckreja Sohoni’s article on Indra Nooyi, who broke two glass ceilings (of gender and ethnicity) when she became PepsiCo’s CEO in 2006. It inspired me to look into the secret(s) of her success.

I came across an article, “The Seven Secrets of Indra Nooyi’s Success,” in the following link that was distilled from Nooyi’s own book, “My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future”:


The seven themes that surfaced repeatedly in her book were as follows:

1. It’s okay to love work.

2. It’s okay to talk about your family at work.

3. Hire experts.

4. Men have a role to play.

5. Leave the crown in the garage.

6. Care needs to be prioritized by everybody right now.

7. Purpose is everything.

For her parents, two things made her success possible: a fervent belief in education and a push to follow her dreams.

While inspiring, Nooyi's "secret" to success as a leader is not entirely a surprise. Tenacity, persistence, preparation, commitment. They're the catchwords we've heard a thousand times.

From the perspective of economics, women are a grossly underutilized resource, considering that in 2021 less than 9% of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women and in 1994, when Nooyi joined PepsiCo, there were zero women CEOs.

In my opinion, in certain areas, women, in general, are superior to men in that they have better people skills, higher EQ (Emotional Quotient), and better judgment. Being less egotistical than men makes them better managers.

Pradeep Srivastava

Albany, California

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