IDEA 2022 Award Recipient – Indra Nooyi with Dr. Michael Benarroch












IDEA 2022 Media Release – Influential business leader and revered role model Indra Nooyi announced as 2022 IDEA recipient

December 7, 2021

The Associates of the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba have announced that Indra Nooyi, one of the world’s most admired and influential business leaders, will be the recipient of the 2022 International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award (IDEA).

“Indra Nooyi has an incredible legacy of achieving transformational growth for PepsiCo and inspiring many with her maverick leadership style and purposeful risk- taking,” said Arni Thorsteinson, Chair of the IDEA Committee and President of Shelter Canadian Properties Limited. “As the first woman of colour and immigrant to lead a Fortune 50 company, she represents the immense importance of diversity and inclusion at all levels of leadership and we are truly honoured to present her with this well-deserved recognition.”

Ms. Nooyi was born in Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Madras Christian College and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. She began her business career at the textile firm Mettur Beardsell in Madras and as a product manager at Johnson & Johnson in Bombay.

In 1978, Ms. Nooyi immigrated to the US to attend Yale University and earned a master’s degree in public and private management. She then joined Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as a strategy consultant and, from 1986 to 1994, worked at Motorola and ABB leading corporate strategy and planning departments.

In 1994, Ms. Nooyi entered the executive suite at PepsiCo and became CFO and then president of the company in 2000. She joined the board of directors in 2001 and, five years later, was named chairman and chief executive officer. Leading PepsiCo, Indra was the architect of Performance with Purpose, the company’s pledge to make healthier and more nutritious products, limit the company’s environmental footprint, and empower its associates and people in the communities it serves.

Currently, Ms. Nooyi sits on Amazon’s board and chairs its audit committee. She is a member of the supervisory board of Philips, the International Advisory Council of Temasek, the International Cricket Council, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She also serves as an advisor to several early stage companies.

Ms. Nooyi has been named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. She has repeatedly been named to Forbes’ Most Powerful Women, and Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business lists.

Ms. Nooyi is a champion of women, equity, inclusion, and support for families, and lends her voice to a variety of causes including the Dean’s Advisory Council at MIT’s School of Engineering, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre and the Partnership for Public Service.  Her first book, My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future was released in September 2021.

University of Manitoba President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Michael Benarroch noted: “Indra Nooyi is a leader who has brought about significant meaningful change. We look forward to celebrating her tremendous accomplishments and welcoming her here in Manitoba.”

Since 1984, the Associates of the Asper School of Business has presented the International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award to outstanding entrepreneurs who have made exemplary contributions to global economic life.

“There are those who stomp out new paths. Then are those who step so far forward that  they paint a whole new horizon for others to look to – that is the extraordinary impact  of Indra Nooyi,” shared RBC Regional President Kim Ulmer.  “One of the many reasons   we return each year to support the IDEA dinner is because of the inspired role the   Associates of the Asper School of Business play in bringing together our community to  honour and learn from influential and imaginative voices like Ms. Nooyi.”

Indra Nooyi joins previous distinguished IDEA recipients including Sir Richard Branson, Stu Clark, Paul Desmarais Sr., David Foster, A. Linda Hasenfratz, Akio Morita, Ross Perot, Heather Reisman & Gerald Schwartz, Dame Anita Roddick, David Thomson, Prem Watsa, Arianna Huffington, Dr. Hartley Richardson, and the 2021 recipient, Dr. Ernest Rady.

Indra Nooyi will be presented with the IDEA award at the 2022 IDEA dinner on May 3, 2022 at the RBC Convention Centre.

For more information, please contact AnnaMaria Toppazzini, CEO, University of Manitoba Business School Foundation, Associates at the Asper School of Business, at: 204-981-4880, or email:


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View Photos from IDEA 2022