Raised in a middle-class family in India, Nooyi seldom did what people expected of her. Most young girls in India spent their time learning household chores; Nooyi played in an all-girl rock band and on a women's cricket team.
Nooyi has also been mentioned in two episodes of the hit CW show, Gossip Girl, where one of the main characters, Blair Waldorf plans to get an internship under her.
She completed the MBA program at one of only two business schools in India and worked at Johnson & Johnson and Mettur Beardsell in India. Around the same time, a magazine advertisement for Yale School of Management caught her eye, and she impulsively applied. Much to her surprise, she was accepted. Even more surprising was the fact that her parents let her immigrate to the United States.
After working in planning strategy at Boston Consulting Company, Motorola and Asea Brown Boveri, she joined PepsiCo as senior vice president of corporate strategy and development in 1994.
Nooyi joined PepsiCo in 1994 and was named president and CFO in 2001. Nooyi has directed the company's global strategy for more than a decade and led PepsiCo's restructuring, including the 1997 divestiture of its restaurants into Tricon, now known as Yum! Brands. Nooyi also took the lead in the acquisition of Tropicana in 1998, and merger with Quaker Oats Company, which also brought Gatorade to PepsiCo. In 2006 she became the fifth CEO in PepsiCo's 44-year history.