Here are a few excerpts from our CEO Sheba Nandkeolyar’s conversation with Indra Nooyi when she visited Australia recently.
While I had the privilege of talking to someone whom I have admired personally on many matters, I have captured a few comments which I believe were the highlights of my conversation.
The ice breaker was undoubtedly our mutual love of cricket. Despite the long travel to Australia, she had stayed up all night watching the World Cup Cricket matches and our conversation touched on how India was playing in the World Cup matches which were on in England at the time.
Indra – “I do not just love cricket, I am passionate about it.”
On Women’s Cricket
Indra -“To have the T20 Women’s World Cup semi-finals at the SCG is amazing. And to have the finals at MCG on International Women’s Day at MCG – it cannot get better than that.”
I could not agree more, as it is certainly a dream come true for me too. I informed her that we were planning our AIBC Women in Business celebrations of 2020 International Women’s Day at the MCG and all Indra said was – “you made my day”.
On New Migrants & the Indian Diaspora
As a Co-Founder and CEO of MultiConnexions, Australia’s largest diaspora advertising and marketing company, I was keen to hear her views on the Indian diaspora, a diaspora to which both of us belong. On asking her what she believed were some important deciding factors when it comes to migrant integration and success. Unhesitatingly she answered – “An open mindset, ability to adapt & efficient communication.”
While respecting one’s own culture, one must learn to adapt to the new surroundings, including new cuisines – that demonstrates respect for one’s new country of adoption too. Communication skills are essential, India has so many diverse accents and one needs to speak as clearly and as concisely as possible.
From my perspective this advice is so relevant to all diaspora audiences, whatever their culture or background.
On International & Bilateral Trade with India
As someone who has been actively promoting bilateral trade for the Australia India Business Council (AIBC) and as the Immediate Past National Chair of AIBC, Chair of Women in Business and as an Australia India Council, DFAT Board Member – I shared with Indra, how the appetite to do business with India was lukewarm among Australian businesses. I was keen to hear her views on how the US fast tracked its business and trade relationship with India.
Indra was clear that the Government has an important role to play. The repeated visits of US Presidents, former US Presidents and senior officials visiting India regularly, has sent strong signals to the business world both in India and the US. Australia may need to follow a similar approach and the Government may need to engage the business world more actively and also diaspora members who are in business.
On ones chosen Work or Business
As someone who loves marketing, advertising and communication and as a Board Member of International Advertising Association – Australia Chapter, it was indeed my privilege to recap IAA Global’s Outstanding Services Award which was presented to Indra Nooyi at the IAA World Congress in 2015 in China. Indra’s mantra was “love what you do and everything falls into place, be it success, satisfaction, happiness and more.”
I could not agree with this more. Setting up my business in the very industry I love, and continue to love is one of the most fulfilling achievements in my professional life too.
On the Art of Parenting
Indra loves her work as also her children. Having a Plan B and sometimes a Plan C helps in seamless transition from a business professional to a mother. Taking help from family, relatives and friends if required is a good way forward. Ego has no role to play in a situation like this.
We are hoping to see you soon and again
“Absolutely, I am not missing any of the wonderful T20 World Cup 2020 matches. Being on the Board of ICC T20 World Cup Australia I am going to be there and I urge all cricket lovers to be there too.”
As a T20 World Cup 2020 Champion myself, I cannot agree more with Indra. In fact tickets have gone on sale and I urge all my friends and associates to buy their tickets as soon as possible. And how about we start with purchasing the Women’s T20 tickets first?
On that note we ended our conversation as I could not agree more with her last piece of advice about loving what you do. I absolutely believe in this last piece of advice, and our MCX family have often heard me share – “If you love something it will never be a chore, it will never be boring, nor tiring. It energises one to do more, to go beyond and look for solutions to overcome all that one might face in business or in one’s personal life.”
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