Narayana Murthy’s remarks on India’s work productivity, where he proposed that young individuals in India should dedicate a minimum of 70 hours per week to work, triggered a substantial reaction on social media. Entrepreneurs also chimed in on the statements made by the co-founder of Infosys.
Bhavish Aggarwal, one of the co-founders of Ola Cabs, echoed Narayana Murthy’s viewpoint, expressing, “I wholeheartedly concur with Mr. Murthy’s perspective. This isn’t the time for reduced work and leisure; instead, it’s a moment to wholeheartedly commit ourselves to achieving in a single generation what other nations have built over many generations!” Aggarwal conveyed this sentiment in a post on X.
However, some entrepreneurs disagreed with Narayana Murthy’s stance and emphasized that the key lies in honing one’s skills and the quality of work rather than simply extending working hours. Ronnie Screwvala, the founder of upGrad, conveyed, “Boosting productivity isn’t solely about prolonging work hours. It involves enhancing one’s skills, fostering a positive work environment, and ensuring equitable compensation for the work accomplished. The quality of work eclipses the quantity of hours spent,” in a post.
Social media reactions have been mixed, with users highlighting wage disparities across different levels and some raising questions about Infosys’s track record in providing adequate compensation, asserting that increased effort at work should be met with improved pay.
On the flip side, advocates of Narayana Murthy’s standpoint underscored the significance of his broader vision, which places India’s growth as a primary objective. Some even regarded a 70-hour workweek as “typical” within the context of India’s thriving startup culture, where longer hours are frequently expected.
In a conversation with former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai on the inaugural episode of 3one4 Capital’s podcast ‘The Record,’ Narayana Murthy advocated for a transformation in India’s work culture. He emphasized India’s subpar work productivity and the necessity for reforms to mitigate government corruption, bureaucratic delays, and inefficiencies in order to compete effectively with countries that have achieved notable progress. Murthy encouraged young Indians to take pride in their nation and commit to diligent work, suggesting a 70-hour workweek as a means to enhance the nation’s productivity.