Indra Nooyi Quotes Inspiring Strong Leadership

Clifton Sankofa

Take a step toward your success with our Indra Nooyi quotes. 

An old adage says behind every strong man stands a stronger woman.

Indra Nooyi’s success story demonstrates that powerful women need not stand behind anyone.

Find out more with our Indra Nooyi quotes below. 

Who is Indra Nooyi?

Indra Nooyi is a woman of many hats.

She is a businesswoman, chief executive officer, and chairwoman. 

Nooyi is the CEO of PepsiCo.

Check out these interesting Indra Nooyi facts:

  • In 2014, she was ranked 13 on Forbes Most Powerful Women’s list. 
  • Fortune ranked her as the second most powerful woman in the world. 
  • Indra serves on the boards of Amazon and the International Cricket Council. 

Where did Indra Nooyi go to school?

You do not get to the top of your field without effort. 

Indra Nooyi is very well-educated and no stranger to hard work.

She often tells the story of how when she was a child, her grandfather would make her write, “I will not make excuses,” two hundred times whenever she fell short on an assignment. 

These experiences instilled a strong work ethic, driving her to excel at school. 

Academically, she was at the top of her class but also enjoyed activities like sports and playing guitar. 

She has three bachelor’s degrees in physics, chemistry, and mathematics. 

Her graduate work was completed at the Yale School of Management. 

Indra Nooyi breaks down walls

Indra Nooyi is an important figure whose story is full of inspiration. 

There is no denying that inclusion breeds confidence, just as there is no denying the power

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of storytelling. 

When young people see people who look like them or come from similar conditions, they feel akin to them. 

When stories are told of people from your community who go on to accomplish amazing tasks, it makes the unbelievable seem achievable. 

Indra Nooyi is the first melanated woman and first migrant to the United States to head a Fortune 50 company. 

PepsiCo has enjoyed considerable profits under her leadership. 

She is also a philanthropist who gives back to those in need. 

Check out our Indra Nooyi quotes below to learn more about this accomplished and confident leader. 

Short Indra Nooyi quotes on effective leadership

Who better to address leadership than one of the most successful CEOs in the world 

1. “CEOs and leaders have to be life-long students.” — Indra Nooyi 

2. “I look at my job as a passion, as a calling. Not as a job.” — Indra Nooyi 

3. “I wouldn’t ask nobody to do something I would do myself.”  — Indra Nooyi 

4. “The more we can break the rules, the better off we’re going to be.”  — Indra Nooyi 

5. “The world is full of ideas today. If we don’t do it, somebody else is going to do it.”  — Indra Nooyi 

The best Indra Nooyi quotes about reading the market and making adjustments

Indra Nooyi has some inspirational advice for anyone looking to become a CEO. 

6. “Just because you are CEO, don’t think you have landed.” — Indra Nooyi 

7. “Large companies cannot be run by quarters but over longer period of time.”  — Indra Nooyi 

8. “The models you develop in one market cannot be directly developed in another market.”  — Indra Nooyi 

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9. “The challenge of a leader is looking around the corner and making the change before it’s too late to make the change.”  — Indra Nooyi 

10. “You can be very, very competent, but if you’re not willing to speak out, have the confidence based on your knowledge, what’s the point?”  — Indra Nooyi 

The top Indra Nooyi quotes about how to live a good life

Indra Nooyi has years of experience under her belt as a leader. 

11. “Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder.” — Indra Nooyi

12. “But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.” — Indra Nooyi 

13. “What I would not do is flaunt my Indianness by wearing a saree to work every day, because it distracts from the job.” — Indra Nooyi 

14. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Social events are different. If I feel comfortable in a saree for a social event, I wear it.” — Indra Nooyi 

15. “If you really feel strongly about something you don’t like people are doing, throw a temper tantrum. Throw things around.” — Indra Nooyi 

Indra Nooyi quotes and sayings about business

Here we have some astute business observations from Indra. 

16. “The distance between number one and number two is always a constant.” — Indra Nooyi 

17. “If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself, and the organization gets pulled up with you.” — Indra Nooyi 

18. “You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach the organization. I’ve never forgotten that.” — Indra Nooyi 

19. “I cannot just expect the organization to improve if I don’t improve myself and lift the organization because that distance is a constant.” — Indra Nooyi 

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20. “You’ve gotta learn how to read widely, walk the market, look at the trends in the marketplace, make connections that don’t seem obvious.”  — Indra Nooyi 

Famous Indra Nooyi quotes on how to run a successful company

Let’s close out with these fantastic Indra Nooyi quotes about how to run a company. 

21. “If you don’t give people a chance to fail, you won’t innovate.”  — Indra Nooyi 

22. “If you wanna be an innovative company, allow people to make mistakes.”  — Indra Nooyi 

23. “Start paint pictures of what the future could be, then watch the consumer behaviors.”  — Indra Nooyi 

24. “How we run the company and how we make the money, that is a sustainable model. That’s what performance with purpose is all about.”  — Indra Nooyi 

25. “The only way that you run a company for the duration of the company and of the CEO is to invest in transformation when the world demands a transformation.”  — Indra Nooyi

Continue to challenge narratives 

If I asked my middle school class to name a successful person back in 2008, they would most likely name the two or three businessmen they knew. 

Perhaps Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. 

Fast forward to 2023, and I ask the same question to the class:

I get much more diverse responses like Indra Nooyi or Oprah Winfrey.

The world can seem dark, but things are changing for the better in many ways. 

What is your favorite Indra Nooyi quote?

Be sure to let us know in the comments. 

Clifton Sankofa
Clifton Sankofa has Master's degrees in English, Teaching, and School Leadership. He is a veteran educator and school leader. Clifton has built his career around teaching language arts, social-emotional learning, hip-hop(e), and vegan cooking. Across the country, Black and Brown communities die over preventable diseases. Clifton's aim is to help reverse this trend through cultural shifts. Using hip-hop and cultural-centered activities, he educates young people on how to reclaim their health and heritage through sustainable vegan eating, cooking practices, and literacy skills.
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