Billionaire Tech Founder Encourages Young Indians to Embrace a 70-Hour Workweek
A prominent figure in India's business world, N.R. Narayana Murthy, believes that the country's youth must commit to long work hours if India is to achieve global economic prominence.
N.R. Narayana Murthy, the co-founder of Infosys, one of India's leading software companies, emphasized the need for "highly determined, extremely disciplined, and extremely hardworking" young individuals in India. He suggested that young people should be prepared to dedicate 70 hours per week to their work, drawing parallels to the post-World War II efforts of Germany and Japan. In a conversation with Mohandas Pai, the former CFO of Infosys, published on YouTube, Murthy discussed his views.
Murthy, whose wealth is estimated at over $4 billion by Forbes, played a pivotal role in establishing Infosys in 1981, which went on to become one of the world's largest outsourcing firms. He also happens to be the father-in-law of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
He expressed concern that Indian youth often adopt undesirable habits from the West without contributing to the country's growth, noting that India's work productivity is among the lowest globally. He urged Indians to learn from successful policies in emerging markets, particularly China.
According to Murthy, corporate leaders in India should encourage young people to work diligently by highlighting that India has earned global respect. He emphasized that this is an opportune moment for India to consolidate and expedite progress.
India is among the world's fastest-growing major economies and is expected to expand by 6.3% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
It's worth noting that Murthy's call for longer work hours comes at a time when Western and Chinese work cultures are undergoing significant shifts. In China, some young individuals have embraced a "lying flat" philosophy to counter the demanding "996" work culture, which entails working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week. In the United States, a workplace trend called "quiet quitting" emerged last year, with people refusing to take on tasks beyond their job descriptions.
Murthy's remarks have sparked controversy on social media, with many pointing out that surveys conducted in recent years have indicated that Indians often feel overworked and underpaid, compared to their global counterparts.