Former PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi, has been honoured with the 'Game Changer of the Year Award' 2018 by the Asia Society. The award comes as a recognition of her outstanding achievements in the field of business, her humanitarian work and efforts towards women and girls. The Asia Society is a non-profit organization which focuses on educating the world about Asia.
Indra Nooyi stepped down as the Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo on 2 October 2018. She has lead the global beverage company for 12 years. The Board of Director's of the company had announced the appointment of Ramon Laguarta (54) as the next CEO in a unanimous decision. However, Nooyi will continue to remain the Chairman of the company until early 2019 to ensure a smooth transition of the company. Recently, Nooyi opened up about her plans about life after retiring as the CEO. Here's what she had to say:
Nooyi was asked if she would like to join US President Donald Trump's Cabinet following her resignation as Pepsi CEO.
To this, she replied: "Me and politics don't mix at all. I am too outspoken, I am not diplomatic. I don't even know what diplomacy is. I would cause a third World War. Don't do it".
Nooyi used to work for 18 to 20 hours over the last 40 years of her life. After retiring, Nooyi said it was "liberating" to have a bit of free time.
"When I stepped down, I thought that it was going to be tough. For 40 years, I have done nothing but wake up at 4 am and figured out how to rush to work and work 18-20 hours a day," she said during the interaction. Nooyi said a day after she stepped down, she realised that there was life beyond working. "I am still a PepsiCo at heart but I am learning to step aside and realise that there is life beyond PepsiCo," she said.
She was planning to give more leisure time to herself and utilize her time in writing and travelling the world. "I am told I need to go to sleep school to learn how to sleep...Learning how to sleep 6, 8 or 10 hours, play Tennis, I don't know how it's going to be but I know it is going to be fun," she said. Now that she has time, Indra Nooyi looks forward to exploring all the things she always wanted to do.
Nooyi recalled her experience of incorporation of the 'Asian model' in her life to find the work-life balance and the need for this model to be imported into the 'west'. She had to bring up her daughters while managing the company. "I imported a quintessential Asian model to my life," she said.
Nooyi and her husband did not want to leave their kids with a daycare worker and turned to their families in India for help, asking parents, in-laws, aunts and uncles, grandparents to stay with them in the US for 3 to 4 months to help supervise their children. "We need to import that Asian model here. We need to have more multi-generational families living together. We need to have the older generation helping the young people supervise day-care facilities. We need solutions to address the issue of work-life balance and co-opting the entire family is part of this solution," she said.
According to her, the west focuses too much on the 'nuclear' family, forgetting the concept of 'family' of which the older generation form an essential part. She said that the western world needed to build communities in which the older and the younger people live together - similar to what we have in India. It would also impart the much-needed knowledge, wisdom and respect.
"If we don't provide the support system for families, I don't know how we are going to do it. Traditional Asian values need to be revived - the joint family, coming together of communities has to happen," she said.
Sharing lessons learnt through her experiences, Nooyi said that her mother's advice to "leave the crown in the garage" holds true.
"Do not bring it in. If your husband wants to bring his crown in, that's just fine. That's crown. But don't take your crown in," she said, adding that some people may "hate" her for making such a remark. If you want to stay married, if you want to be a daughter, wife, mother, unfortunately the crown stays in the car. That is the unfortunate rule number one. Somebody has got to play the role of getting everybody together," she said.
Nooyi led a group of other revolutionary women as Asia Society's Game Changers, including the Afghan Girls Robotics Team who has made waves at international robotics competitions and Mira Rai, a record-shattering runner from a small village in Nepal, who is also an inspiration for millions of girls and young women.
The 2018 Asia Game Changer Awards were given to individuals and institutions who have broken barriers, defined courage, worked miracles, and in turn inspired their fellow citizens of the world. Along with Indra Nooyi, the honour has been bestowed upon:
(With Inputs from PTI)