Event Recap: Luis Montoya (President, PepsiCo)

ideas4action@wharton.upenn.edu Blog, Text

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This past Monday, Apr.20, our team was excited to host PepsiCo Latin American beverages President Luis Montoya. He flew all the way from Peru for one day at Wharton to meet our team and share his insights with UPenn students about responsible leadership in the Post-2015 world. While PepsiCo is mostly known for producing delicious drinks to people worldwide, Luis showed us that PepsiCo also has an extensive agenda for creating sustainability.

The PepsiCo team is specifically addressing human sustainability, environmental sustainability, and talent sustainability. In this way, they are a company that focuses on delivering performance with purpose in action. They’ve already applied their objectives through projects like Aquafund, the Sustainable Farming Initiative, and Liter of Light.

Luis spoke in-depth about the importance of educating our younger generation about the environment. “Youth is at the core of what the Pepsi trademark is. We connect with that with youth entrepreneurship,” he said. He stressed the importance of teaching young people about recycling and water conservation because PepsiCo produces packages that need to be recycled and most of their products use water. “We need water,” he said, “People my age, we realize what the impact of environmental conservation is, but we are too old to do anything about it. When people are at a younger age and learn about environmental conservation, they have more time to educate themselves so they can do something about it.”

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Luis’ team set forth a strategy to create classes that would teach younger generations about the environment. Partnered with YABT, they created the Eco-Challenge, a talent and innovation competition. “Winners receive a one week training program in entrepreneurship, a mini-MBA on social entrepreneurship to improve chances of success for the winning team,” he said.

In speaking to responsible leadership in the post-2015 world, Luis spoke, “Your education is only your ticket to a more complex, difficult, and amazing world. Great management is about leadership.

I have a personal dilemma related to authenticity , which is a critical thing. You don’t want to look green just for the sake of looking green, what people call greenwashing). You run a big risk of losing authenticity. To increase authenticity is to ignite passion of our teams. Employees enjoy working more – listening, learning, and laughing.” With that, he introduced the 3 H’s – Head, Heart, and Hands.

“Your generation is a rapidly changing world and globalized environment. Technology and connectivity is driving that change. The future is unpredictable, making innovation a priority day in and day out. A new generation leader looks constantly for innovation. Steal shamelessly, learn what others are doing, apply knowledge. Technology today allows anyone to implement ideas in a short period of time. True advantage is your ability to constantly innovate and reduce time between innovations. We have to be careful if you lose foresight.”

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“Head is about design, analysis and strategy. Success carries with it the roots of failure unless you learn to innovate. We try to institutionalize our success, but then we become slow and stagnant. Think outside the box for your career, decisions, perceptions for the key to strategic advantage. Education has helped us to think linearly- the Newtonian view of the world is so embedded in our brain that we forget to have holistic view of the world. Time and time again, we see that’s not the truth. We live in a world that’s filled with endless combinations. We live in a world of interactions, so think beyond cause and effect. The ones who have the ability to share the learning are the ones who will be the most successful.”

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Giving insight into his philosophy of Heart, Luis said, “to succeed you need to understand the basic nature of human relationships. See yourself as an architect, not a manager. Different people have different sets of glasses to see the world, different values. Do not ever work in an organization that does not share your values. How do people get promoted or fired? How does the company approach restructuring? Follow your instincts. In interviews, ask for those stories, such as what happens when your son gets sick?”

About Hands, Luis said, “Getting things done is about the quality of the execution. You can have the brightest strategy, the largest passion, but without strategy, there is nothing. Know your business code. Look into the details. Be the foremost expert in the industry. Do not settle for less, learn to execute with passion and excellence. Do not compromise your value, your company, or your family.”

“Design with your head, dream with your heart, and execute with your hands.”


Luis Montoya and PepsiCo team with the Ideas for Action team.

View more pictures in our website.