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Updated on: Sunday, September 26, 2021, 09:58 PM IST

When Indian PM and US President both claimed Indra Nooyi is one of theirs

PTI

"I belong in both worlds," Chennai-born Indra Nooyi, writes in her new memoir "My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future"/ Representational image |

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Indian-American Indra Nooyi, the former chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo, still vividly remembers a 2009 meeting with the then US president Barack Obama and former prime minister Manmohan Singh during which both claimed: "she is one of us".

"I belong in both worlds," Chennai-born Nooyi, 65, writes in her new memoir "My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future," recollecting the memorable events of November 2009 when Obama had hosted Singh for his first state dinner.

In the memoir, set to hit the bookstores next Tuesday, Nooyi describes the events that shaped her life from childhood to her becoming Pepsico CEO, a position from which she retired in 2018.

"One foggy Tuesday in November 2009, after hours of meetings in Washington, DC, with two dozen top US and Indian business executives, I found myself standing between the president of the United States and the prime minister of India," she writes in the introduction of the memoir that runs into over 300 pages.

"Barack Obama and Manmohan Singh had entered the room for an update on our group's progress, and President Obama began introducing the American team to his Indian counterpart. When he got to me-Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo-Prime Minister Singh exclaimed, "Oh! But she is one of us!" "And the president, with a big smile and without missing a beat, responded, "Ah, but she is one of us, too!" "It's a moment I never forget-spontaneous kindness from the leaders of the two great countries that have given me so much," Nooyi writes in the memoir, an advance copy of which was obtained by PTI.

"I am still the girl who grew up in a close family in Madras, in the South of India, and I am deeply connected to the lessons and culture of my youth. I am also the woman who arrived in the US at age twenty-three to study and work and, somehow, rose to lead an iconic company, a journey that I believe is possible only in America. I belong in both worlds," she writes, narrating her immigrant story.

From a sari-clad intern at Booz Allen Hamilton rising to the post of Pepsico CEO, Nooyi writes that the business world has improved immeasurably for women in the US since she started her professional career.

Nooyi writes that more recently, the #MeToo movement and Time's Up campaigns have had a profound impact on exposing the degree to which women are subjected to sexual violence and harassment. The movement and campaigns have created a necessary community for survivors, she observes.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Published on: Sunday, September 26, 2021, 09:58 PM IST
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