Indra Nooyi: A Transcultural Leader

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Case Details:

Case Code : LDEN076
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2006-2011
Pub Date : 2011
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : PepsiCo.
Industry : Consumer Packaged Goods
Countries : Europe; US; Global

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Excerpts Contd...

Striking a Balance

Nooyi sums up the trade offs and sacrifices she has made in her life "Any woman who reaches the kinds of positions we do, and I'll speak for myself here, there are so many tradeoffs, compromises, heartbreaks, regrets that we've had to make along the way. It has not been easy. You know, I have two daughters. I have a husband, been married for 28 years. I have a mother still alive, and my family is very close"...

Handling the Downturn

According to Nooyi, setting the agenda in a downturn was of prime importance. She ensured that she was visible in order to convey a strong message that things were all right and the organization would come out of the problems. To tide over the downturn, the company made substantial reductions in spending, but not at the cost of long-term investments. Nooyi emphasized the realistic optimism considering the fact that they were a consumer staple company, which would not be affected much...

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Rising Stakes?

While some industry observers and experts described her as a new age hybrid leader and praised her leadership style, Nooyi also came in for some strong criticism. Critics termed Nooyi's slogan of 'Performance with a Purpose' as a marketing ploy that happened to be in vogue. They pointed out that the company was still best known for making soda and potato chips. She was also criticized for the way she handled issues such as the pesticide controversy in India in 2006, and health issues related to the company's products...


Exhibit I: Positions Held by Indra Nooyi
Exhibit II: Food Portfolio of PepsiCo Inc.
Exhibit III: Characteristics of Hybrid Leaders
Exhibit IV: Total Net Revenue and Operating Profit of PepsiCo Inc.

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