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Business News/ News / India/  'Prosperity needs hard work,' Ex-Infosys CFO backs Narayana Murthy's 70-hour work advice
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'Prosperity needs hard work,' Ex-Infosys CFO backs Narayana Murthy's 70-hour work advice

Former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai defends Narayana Murthy's statement with data on average working hours in India.

 Infosys co-founder N R Narayana MurthyPremium
Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy

Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy's statement on working hours has stirred a little storm on the X platform. Last week, on a podcast, Murthy requested youngsters to work 70 hours a week to level up the country's productivity.

His statement divided top-notch business tycoon as well as service class. Murthy received backlash for apparently promoting an "overwork culture" by some while others praised them for trying to stoke the young ones into action.

Also read: Even Narayana Murthy isn't always on point: youth must work smarter, not longer

Defending Murthy's statement former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai has shared data on how many hours urban men work in each state. Pai asserted that 'Prosperity needs hard work, data shows'.

Also read: Mint Explainer: Why Narayana Murthy's call for a 70-hour work week won't fly

According to the map that Mohandas Pai shared, the average working hours in India is 61.6 per week. Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu clocked in the highest with 78.6 hours per week while Nagaland (46.8) and Manipur (46.9), stood among the lowest working hours regions, respectively. The source of the data is from Time Use Survey (2019), done by the government of India.

Notably, Murthy had spoken on a 70-hour work week in conversation with Pai only during the inaugural episode of 3one4 Capital's podcast.

Also read: From 60 hours in 2020, Narayana Murthy now suggests a 70-hour work week for youngsters: Where will he go next?

Business tycoons supporting Narayana Murthy

Ola Cabs CEO Bhavish Aggarwal and JSW's Sajjan Jindal supported Murthy's statement and said it shows dedication towards taking India ahead.

"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!" said Aggarwal.

Also read: India Inc divided as Narayana Murthy calls for 70 hour work week

Jindal, chairman of JSW Group wrote, "I wholeheartedly endorse Mr. Narayan Murthy's statement. It's not about burnout, it’s about dedication. We have to make India an economic superpower that we can all be proud of in India 2047. A 5-day week culture is not what a rapidly developing nation of our size needs".

Business tycoons against 70-hour work week

On the other hand, Marico Chairman Harsh Mariwala, Edelweiss Mutual Fund MD and CEO Radhika Gupta, upGrad's Ronnie Screwvala, and Hi-COM’s Sukhbir Singh Bhatia expressed divergent views.

Screwvala tweeted, "Boosting productivity isn’t just about working longer hours. It’s about getting better at what you do – Upskilling, having a positive work environment, and fair pay for the work done. Quality of work done > clocking in more hours".

Sukhbir Singh Bhatia, CEO of internet service provider Hi-COM Network said it is important to understand that a well-rested driven team is capable of more eproductivity.

"Adopting a work-life balanced culture encourages innovation, creativity, and employee satisfaction — all of which are important success factors," Bhatia added.

Edelweiss CEO Gupta commented that many Indian women have been working more than the said hours per week to “build India" but no one has debated about them.

Also read: Edelweiss CEO Radhika Gupta says Indian women work more than that but no one debates

“Between offices and homes, many Indian women have been working many more than seventy-hour weeks to build India (through our work) and the next generation of Indians (our children). For years and decades. With a smile, and without a demand for overtime. Funnily, no one has debated about us on Twitter," Radhika Gupta tweeted.

Marico Group Chairman Harsh Mariwala said that while hard work is the backbone of success, quality, and passion should also be given priority.

Also read: Marico chairman differs with Narayana Murthy's '70-hour work week' suggestion, says, 'ultimate objective should be...'

"The ultimate objective should be to make work so invigorating and rewarding that the paradigm of work-life balance seamlessly integrates," Mariwala said.

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Published: 30 Oct 2023, 12:12 PM IST
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