My Life in Full Book Summary - My Life in Full Book explained in key points
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My Life in Full summary

Indra Nooyi

Work, Family, and Our Future

4.1 (118 ratings)
26 mins

Brief summary

'My Life in Full' by Indra Nooyi is a memoir that offers insights into the life and career of one of the world's most powerful businesswomen.
It provides a first-hand account of the challenges and triumphs of navigating corporate America as a woman and a person of color.

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    My Life in Full
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    Nooyi’s excellent support network helped her to succeed in her studies and early career.

    One day in 2009, Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, was at a meeting in Washington DC. Also in attendance were the president of the United States, Barack Obama, and the prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh.

    When Nooyi was introduced to the group, Prime Minister Singh said, “Ah, she’s one of us.” With a smile, Obama replied, “She’s one of us, too.”

    This encounter sums up Nooyi’s life, career, and sense of identity. As an Indian woman who’s had a successful corporate career in the US, she truly belongs to both worlds.

    And while she’s now a proud US citizen, Nooyi is equally proud of her roots in India. After all, it was her family and mentors in India that helped to make her the person she is today – one of the most influential women in business.

    Even as a child, growing up in Chennai – then Madras – in the 60s and 70s, Nooyi knew that she was going to aim high. And she certainly wasn’t going to be held back by her gender.

    You see, Nooyi grew up in a Hindu Brahmin family. This is a culture that values self-discipline and prioritizes education for both sexes. Also, at the time, many women in India were being encouraged to study. Yes, they were still expected to become wives and mothers, but they could also pursue an education.

    Although Nooyi’s mother didn’t work, she was determined that her daughter would have a college education and get a good job. The rest of Nooyi’s family were equally supportive. Right from the beginning, she was expected to work hard and get good grades.

    Luckily, this is something that came naturally to Nooyi. She loved school. Every morning, she hopped on the back of her father’s scooter and headed to her all-girls Catholic school, excited for another day of learning and . . . freedom.

    For Nooyi, school meant freedom, away from the strict rules and close monitoring she experienced at home. At school, she got to read what she wanted, join the Girl Scouts, and learn all kinds of new things. After class, she’d literally run down the corridor from one activity to the next.

    Her love of learning continued throughout school and college. Afterward, she went on to do a master’s degree at the prestigious business school IIM Calcutta.

    Nooyi’s classmates and professors were nearly all men. She was part of a new generation of Indian women entering the world of business.

    But fortunately, Nooyi and her female classmates felt respected and supported by the men they worked with. And there was also a sense of excitement – they were on the cusp of something special.

    After graduating, Nooyi enjoyed getting stuck into her first jobs in product management. But in 1977, while she was working for Johnson & Johnson in Bombay, she found herself thinking about opportunities abroad.

    More specifically, America. So many of her college friends were heading there for postgraduate programs in California, Illinois, and Texas.

    Many of the best business students in India flocked to the US for further education and then went on to have super successful careers.

    So as her friends went off, one by one, Nooyi found herself wondering. Was that the way to move ahead with her career? Did she have a future in the US?

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    What is My Life in Full about?

    My Life in Full (2021) is the memoir of former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi. She reflects on her rise to success and the juggling act it required as she struggled to make time for her family.

    Who should read My Life in Full?

    • Working parents
    • Women aspiring to leadership positions
    • Anyone interested in the story of a uniquely successful career

    About the Author

    Indra Nooyi is best known for her remarkable career at PepsiCo. Nooyi was the CEO from 2006 to 2018, and responsible for an innovative strategy focusing on health and environmental sustainability. She’s often been ranked as one of the world’s most powerful women.

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