Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Watch out what you say!!

By comparing the US with the much-abused middle finger in her speech at the graduating ceremony of Columbia Business School, Indira Nooyi, the powerful CFO and president of PepsiCo has stirred up a blog-storm.

The Powerline blog ( brought this issue to the atention of the world and there has been mixed response to Indira's remarks.

Pepsico co took no chances and posted the entire speech at this site:

And here is the message from the Indira Nooyi clarifying her stand.

Here is an extract from her speech:

First, let’s consider our little finger. Think of this finger as Africa. Africa is the little finger not because of Africa’s size, but because of its place on the world’s stage. From an economic standpoint, Africa has yet to catch up with her sister continents. And yet, when our little finger hurts, it affects the whole hand.

Our thumb is Asia: strong, powerful, and ready to assert herself as a major player on the world’s economic stage.

Our index, or pointer finger, is Europe. Europe is the cradle of democracy and pointed the way for western civilization and the laws we use in conducting global business.

The ring finger is South America, including Latin America. Is this appropriate, or what? The ring finger symbolizes love and commitment to another person. Both Latin and South America are hot, passionate, and filled with the sensuous beats of the mambo, samba, and tango: three dances that – if done right – can almost guarantee you and your partner will be buying furniture together.

This analogy of the five fingers as the five major continents leaves the long, middle finger for North America, and, in particular, The United States. As the longest of the fingers, it really stands out. The middle finger anchors every function that the hand performs and is the key to all of the fingers working together efficiently and effectively. This is a really good thing, and has given the U.S. a leg-up in global business since the end of World War I. However, if used inappropriately –just like the U.S. itself -- the middle finger can convey a negative message and get us in trouble. You know what I’m talking about. In fact, I suspect you’re hoping that I’ll demonstrate what I mean. And trust me, I’m not looking for volunteers to model


At 5:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was good. - Thought

At 5:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i happened to read this first on the indiatimes website. and believe me, the way the speech is cut and modified in that report, one will feel nooyi is abusing uncle sam.



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