All Work, No Play? Internet Divided Over Narayana Murthy's Call For 70-Hour Work Week

Narayana Murthy’s recent calls for longer working hours for Indian professionals to compete on a global scale has stirred up controversy online, with many supporting the Infosys cofounder’s reasoning and several critical of the stance.

What Happened: Murthy said in a recent interview with Moneycontrol that youngsters in India should work for a minimum of 70 hours per week to compete with other global economies.

"You know, this is exactly what the Germans and Japanese did after the Second World War… they made sure that every German worked extra hours for a certain number of years," Narayana Murthy said.

Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO of Ola, said he agreed with Murthy’s on India’s work culture. He emphasised India’s need to work harder to make significant strides within a single generation instead of several.

Aggarwal tweeted on Thursday, “Totally agree with Mr Murthy's views. It's not our moment to work less and entertain ourselves. Rather it's our moment to go all in and build in 1 generation what other countries have built over many generations!”

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Several others agreed with Murthy and Aggarwal’s sentiments, saying that hard work was imperative for success.

However, several users disagreed strongly with the two founders’ views, pointing to various problems with the long work hours, including low pay, poor work-life balance and worker burnout.

Why It Matters: Murthy, a billionaire tech founder, had made similar comments three years ago, where he suggested that youngsters should put in 60 hours per week for the subsequent two to three years to revive the Indian economy. With his latest remarks, Murthy has raised his expectations from India’s youth in terms of productivity.

Given that India is an emerging economy that’s growing at a fast click, the subject of productivity and work-life balance have become a contentious issue for many over the past several years.

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Posted In: Social MediaOpinionGeneralBhavish AggarwalinfosysNarayana MurthyOla