MY LIFE IN FULL

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Growing up in a Hindu Brahmin household in Madras (renamed Chennai in 1996), India, Nooyi learned the importance of family, and as a self-described “tomboy,” she loved to buck tradition. Whether she was co-founding Madras’ most popular all-female rock band, living alone in Bombay while interning at the Department of Atomic Energy, or moving, unmarried, to the U.S. to pursue a degree at Yale, Nooyi’s parents always supported her. This invaluable support continued when she married her husband, Raj. After she was offered a job she couldn’t turn down, Raj agreed to move their young family from Illinois to Connecticut, a concession that most Indian men of his generation would not have made. “Raj’s selflessness,” she writes, was “all the more remarkable because he was taking on the conventions of the time in so many ways.” Although she always valued family, rising through the ranks meant making difficult choices about being a mother and a wife. Throughout the book, she reflects on these choices, sometimes with regret. Nonetheless, she is justifiably proud that her personal sacrifices led to unprecedented strides at PepsiCo, where, as CEO, she reduced water consumption and plastic usage in the manufacturing processes, spearheaded the development of healthier products, and changed many of the trucks in the company’s fleet to hybrid vehicles. As a global corporation, profit was paramount, but Nooyi was also dedicated to progressive change, particularly regarding environmental practices. “The more I thought about PepsiCo’s future,” she writes, “the more I felt it was incumbent on me to connect what was good for our business with what was good for the world.” Nooyi’s autobiography is a quick, fascinating read, laced with unusual frankness and generosity. The author is honest about her privilege and her regrets, never sugarcoating her failures or giving herself undue credit for her successes.

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