Murthy’s 70-hour week comment for youth sparks nationwide debate

Disagreeing with Murthy, upGrad founder Ronnie Screwvala in a post said boosting productivity isn’t just about working longer hours.
FILE - An image of Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy, used for representational purposes only. (Photo | PTI)
FILE - An image of Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy, used for representational purposes only. (Photo | PTI)

BENGALURU:  Infosys founder Narayana Murthy’s advice to youngsters to work over 70 hours a week has sparked a debate. A few start-up founders and business leaders seconded his viewpoint and some others have opposed saying quality of work is greater than clocking in more hours, and that it is tough for young employees to dedicate 12-13 hours each day along with an additional 2-4 hours of commute time. On Thursday, in a conversation with former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai, Murthy said,

“My request is that our youngsters must say, ‘this is my country, I want to work 70 hours a week.” He stressed that if the country wants to make significant progress, then the youth would have to work hard.. JSW Group Chairman Sajjan Jindal and Ola Cabs CEO and co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal endorsed Murthy’s statement. Jindal said, “It is not about burnout, it is about dedication. Aggarwal too said it is not our moment to work less and entertain ourselves. “Rather it’s our moment to go all in and build in one generation what other countries have built over many generations!” he wrote on X.

A major chunk of netizens have not agreed with Murthy’s statement. They say it is tough for employees to dedicate such long hours and point out negative health repercussions due to overwork. “In today’s knowledge-driven and service-oriented economy, where individuals have diverse interests beyond work, this approach may not be as effective,” said Aditya Narayan Mishra, MD & CEO of CIEL HR Services. “We need a pragmatic approach to make our firms more productive.

We need to focus on employee upskilling and mental health, invest in cutting-edge technologies, pursue kaizen and other innovative practices and make the workplace welcoming and fulfilling for the employees,” he added. Disagreeing with Murthy, upGrad founder Ronnie Screwvala in a post said boosting productivity isn’t just about working longer hours.

India Inc divided over the issue of ‘quality vs hours’
A few start-up founders and business leaders seconded Murthy’s viewpoint and others have opposed saying quality of work is greater than clocking in more hours, and that it is tough for young employees to dedicate 12-13 hours a day along with an additional 2-4 hours of commute time. A major chunk of netizens have not agreed with Murthy

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