When the community chose, by an overwhelming majority, Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi as India Abroad Person of the Year 2006, it reinforced a virtual no-brainer.
Nooyi, 51, has been blazing a trail of glory from the time she joined PepsiCo in 1994 as senior vice president of strategic planning. In August 2006, she made history once again when the cola giant's board of directors named her to the post of chief executive officer -- promoting her from the post of president and chief financial officer of the $33 billion company -- from October 1, 2006.
With its humble roots to corporate icon ring, what her story strikes is a power chord. The rock guitar -- and rock star -- allegory could not fit anyone better than Nooyi, who led an all-girl band in college, and who reportedly still belts out electric guitar riffs at some of Pepsi's more informal parties. And, like the ideal power chord, the Indra Nooyi story marvels with its simplicity and awes with its impact. Simplicity, because all the girl from Chennai did to emerge as a global corporate idol was follow her dreams and be herself; impact, because she has hit the proverbial glass ceiling with the force of a few-megaton hydrogen bomb.
Text: Aziz Haniffa
Also see: World's 4th most powerful woman