An Inspiring Tale of an Extraordinary Woman

Recently I got the opportunity to curate and host a panel discussion on Women’s Day on the topic, ‘leadership and women’ which was quite relatable to many. The content of this book resonated quite a bit with me when the conversation came up on of how women lose out on opportunity due to their own choices or if the other gender doesn’t see them as individuals contributing to the organisation but sees them as more of a female co-worker whose capabilities are doubted time and again. The author, Indira Nooyi needs no introduction and her recent autobiography ‘My Life In Full – Work, Family, And Our Future’ is a masterpiece that must be read by one and all to appreciate her rise to the top fighting all odds and clears all notions on gender bias and growth opportunity for women.

What does the book cover?

Nooyi says, “We must support the next generation of smart, driven young people and help them combine their livelihoods with their lives, including the multifaceted roles they play in their extended families”. The book rightly captures her exceptional journey of determination, hard work and commitment alongside playing an admirable role of a doting mother, wife, daughter, daughter in law and being a CEO of a fortune 500 firm.

The story of her life just doesn’t accentuate the highs but also the lows, the difficulties, the discriminations and hardships Nooyi had to face while climbing the corporate ladder.

The narrative of her life- nothing in her life could stop her from dreaming big or achieving her goals is narrated and captured beautifully in this book.

Three takeaways

  • Never give up on your dreams – If you want it work towards it and make it happen. She had immense competition from her peers, especially men, but she didn’t let her gender play a spoilsport (Interesting piece on her PepsiCo journey). “If you take on something, you must give it your all” said her Thatha and that quote stayed with her all her life.
  • Strong support system– She made sure she took full support from her family, be it her husband Raj or her parents or in laws. She was clear on achieving her dream and was ready to make sacrifices. Even after having her babies, she got back to work in three months – completely her choice and she was proud about it.
  • Purpose – She makes a relevant point in one of the chapters on how what is good for the businesses should also be good for the society. Innovative solutions were offered to be environment friendly, for good public health, water resource management and plastic packaging.

What’s in it for me?

It was a very enchanting read for me. I was emotionally connected to the stories and her experiences in life. A young girl from a small town of India, first woman of colour to run a fortune 500 company and putting India on the global map. This indeed was truly inspirational for many like me.

My recommendation

The book is a good inspirational read for people, especially women aiming to make it big in life. There are many interesting takeaways for us to learn from. It’s a story of grit and determination, read it or gift it to someone you love. It doesn’t matter if you are a woman or a ‘person of colour’ at the end what wins is your passion and dedication to achieve your goal – valuable lessons for lifetime.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarika Chavan
Sarika Chavan is a public relations professional with over 15 years of work experience.

Sarika has previously had stints with with Weber Shandwick as Vice President - Client Experience, Adfactors PR, Text100 (now Archetype) and Perfect Relations. With keen observation and analytical skills, Sarika has successfully led PR campaigns for key brands across multiple sectors by leveraging her strength and expertise in the communications arena.

She is a post graduate in communications from Xavier Institute of Communications. She is based in Mumbai and in her free time loves to spend time with her daughters, play with her dogs, read and travel.

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