We will see more Indians rising to high positions
THE WEEK|October 24, 2021
Indra Nooyi, former CEO, PepsiCo
K. SUNIL THOMAS

Q/ The duality of being an Indian and an American at the same time; what are the positive aspects of this?

A/ I was born in the world’s largest democracy, and I thrive in the world’s oldest democracy. So, I think I have always been in the free market, where capitalism has yielded tremendous opportunities and I have been the beneficiary of all of that. The great thing is that I have brought to the US all my family values from India. And the creativity, the innovation and all of that I have imbibed from here.

All of us live with a duality, of work and family and trying to juggle all of that. So, in some shape or form, we are all struggling with duality. That is what makes us richer people, that is what makes us more grounded.

Q/While in the US, were there some features, some of your ‘Indianness’ that helped?

A/ I grew up in Madras in a simple, conservative family where the emphasis was on hard work, doing well in school, and being respectful of elders. All of those values I brought here. In every job I had, I worked hard, I really understood the material, I wanted to do my best to make India proud of me and the US proud of me.

Because I felt that as an immigrant, I was invited into this country, so I wanted both countries to be proud of me. So, I brought all those values I learned while growing up, and those are the values that stood me in good stead. Because, had I not worked hard, had I not studied everything I was working on, had I not had a respect for the system, I am not sure I would have been very successful. So, I credit both sides for who I am.

Q/Which are the elements from both ways of life where you feel one could learn from the other?

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