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Journey to my MBA

Friday, August 25, 2006

Yale SOM graduate becomes new PepsiCo CEO

This article should be an encouragement to my Indian friends out there. Enjoy-Dave

Pepsi's Nooyi, McKinsey's Gupta Get Return From India Education

By Mary Jane Credeur and Ashok Bhattacharjee

Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- When Rajat Gupta couldn't find a decent job in India after earning a mechanical engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi in 1971, he did what many compatriots did.

He moved to the U.S. He attended Harvard Business School in Boston, then landed a job at the New York office of McKinsey & Co. Inc. in 1973. Twenty-one years later, in 1994, Gupta, 57, became the first foreign-born chief executive officer of the consulting firm, which then had $1.3 billion in revenue.

As Gupta's rise illustrates, PepsiCo Inc., which last week named Indra Nooyi as its next CEO, isn't the first global corporation to recognize the caliber of Indian executive talent. The annual reports of many large companies show Indians are landing big jobs. Like Gupta and Nooyi, most are products of an investment in higher education the country made more than 40 years ago.

``There is a huge demand for Indian executives,'' says Rana Talwar, 58, former CEO of Standard Chartered Plc in London who runs Sabre Capital, a buyout firm. ``The quality of the education is very good. And Indians can adapt to any environment. When we grew up, we got used to adverse conditions such as power outages.''

Those coming of age in the executive suite often were educated at one of two institutions founded in the 1950s and 1960s, the now seven-city IIT and the six-member Indian Institutes of Management. Created after India achieved independence from the U.K. in 1947, they were designed to train leaders for India's post-war industrial development.

First Crop

They did. And not only for India. Arun Sarin, 51, CEO of Vodafone Group Plc in Newbury, England, graduated from IIT- Kharagpur as did Ajit Jain, 54, a potential successor to Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway in Omaha, Nebraska. Nooyi, 50, earned her degree at IIM in Calcutta.

Many middle-aged graduates from IIT and IIM are now rising to the tops of their fields, says Vivek Wadhwa, 49, a professor at Duke University who came to the U.S. in 1980 to complete a master's degree at New York University. India converted a former detention camp in Kharagpur into the first IIT in 1950, and this year increased total education spending by 41 percent to $4.5 billion from $3.2 billion last year.

``The people who are making it to the top are very resilient,'' Wadhwa says. ``They've studied hard. They've worked hard their entire lives. And now they are being rewarded and recognized.''



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, being an Indian, often differ on such topics - whether it is from bloomberg or anyone else.

Firstly, I never distinguish talent based on nationality/gender/religion/race. It's a strict no-no in my dictionary.
Secondly, I gain nothing even if I choose to do so.
Third, it highlights an individual's effort rather than a B-school's or even a country's.

I somehow feel uncomfortable on seeing such segregation - whether a postive note or a negative one.

P.s.: My intention is not to hurt sentiments but just to reflect "biz-like" thoughts.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Dave for MBA said...

Interesting point of view "anonymous". I don't understand it. How can one not see that various cultures have beneficial qualities. Moreover, in a business environment, these differences are to be taken full advantage of. Not only that, one should also be aware of disadvantages of various cultures... especially as a leader. To say or act otherwise is beyond my understanding. This article was not about segregation, but about the way in which Indian's are a growing influence in the Global Business Economy. Moreover, the article commented on some reasons why this was the case. I honestly didn't agree with all the points in the article, but I agree that managers and leaders from India are making waves that the business world is well aware of and continues to be so.

I cannot understand how one can come up with such a strong belief that doesn't want to read about such things.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Nat4mba said...

Dave, with all respect, I must confess that I fully support the opinion of anonymous. I believe that among representatives of all nations, with no exceptions, we can find individuals that show great success, but the said success of an individual, as well as failure, is not representative for the nation in the whole, even if we talk about the Nobel prize winners... Besides, sorry if I offend someone's principals, but I strongly believe that a person who left his or her native country and lives for more than 40 years in another land is a truly citizen of this latter land. Otherwise, we can easily become tangled with all those various circumstances that play a part, such as whether an American citizen got education in a ghetto in a school that practiced different language, whether one of parents was an expatriate and so on and on. Circumstances are so varied that I agree with anonimous - it is a wrong practice to underline a nationality or other aspects... We can name many Indian people who went to USA and dissolved in a crowd, while it will in no way shadow the overall success of the nation.

12:55 AM  
Blogger Dave for MBA said...

Nat and Anonymous. Your comments confuse me. The article talks about how "resilient" Indian managers/leaders tend to be. MOST importantly, the article doesn't talk about their executive pathway, but rather their roots in India where they give a great degree credit to for their successes.

Although, this may not be true of all Indians, the article emphasizes that certain qualities strongly attributed to their success. They were:
1) ``The quality of the India"
2) ``The people who are...very resilient,''
3) Those who have "... studied hard. "

This article was intended to showcase that some really great resources and cultural habits are good "stock" qualities in the people of India. With hard work, some great things can be achieved.

Look at the great qualities you have as Indians. I'm not Indian and I saw great things in this article that made me want to say... "way to go Indians". Stop being so negative. Why don't you see the good of the article! That was the intent of the article.

I understand that one person or even a couple of people don't represent a country or people group. Like you said, there have also been many people who dissolved into the USA that don't have such prominance or achievement.

However, I would like to say that as a leader, one MUST point out the heroes and quality examples of human achievement that one could use as goal posts. Would you so easily discount the achievements of Olympic athletes by saying that they don't represent us all?

This is crazy talk. We need heroes in this world. We need to be reminded of what we can achieve. Our hopes and dreams ought to seem possible. A leader DOES not discount human achievement.

This is because, their achievements make our dreams plausible. Even more so, these guys in the article are from India. They clearly state that they are who the are today because of things they had in India... not in some other country.

I need heroes in my life. So do you!

Be proud of your heritage and culture and do what it takes to work hard to achieve your dreams guys!

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good one Dave. I have met a lot of folks from IIT. They truly are brilliant engineers and propspective business leaders. Recognizing the fact is not somrthing to be ashamed of. I'm proud to say that I'm an Indian and Indians have done me proud.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Dave for MBA said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:29 AM  

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