How corporate bigwigs reacted to Narayana Murthy's 70-hour work week remark | Trending - Hindustan Times
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How corporate bigwigs reacted to Narayana Murthy's 70-hour work week remark

Nov 02, 2023 08:01 PM IST

From Harsh Goenka and Ashneer Grover to Anupam Mittal and Chetan Bhagat, many voiced their opinions on Narayana Murthy’s remark.

Infosys co-founder and former CEO Narayana Murthy sparked a discussion on work-life balance after he made a remark on work productivity of the country on a podcast. During his conversation with former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai, Murthy stressed that youth should work for at least 70 hours a week to boost the country’s work productivity. This, in his opinion, is needed for the country to remain competitive with nations like China and Japan. While many backed his remark, others simply disagreed. From Anupam Mittal to Bhavish Aggarwal, some agreed with Murthy’s views on work productivity. However, many disagreed, including Harsh Mariwala and Chetan Bhagat.

Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy. (ANI)
Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy. (ANI)

Take a look at who said what about Narayana Murthy’s remark:

1- Harsh Goenka

RPG Enterprises Chairman Harsh Goenka took to X to share his opinion on the 70-hour work week. He shared that hybrid work culture is the ‘present and future’. He further added, “It’s no longer about working 50 or 70 hours, but about your own ambition, your purpose, and your productivity.”

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2- Ashneer Grover

Ashneer Grover, former co-founder and managing director of BharatPe, also shared his views on X. He wrote, “I think the junta [public] got offended here because work is still being measured in ‘hours’ than ‘outcome’. The other thing is people feeling as if youngster’s laziness is the only thing keeping India from becoming developed. Funny - getting offended unites us more than cricket, religion, caste or language.”

Ashneer Grover tweeted this on work productivity. (X/@Ashneer_Grover)
Ashneer Grover tweeted this on work productivity. (X/@Ashneer_Grover)

3- Anupam Mittal

Anupam Mittal, the founder of Shadi.com, reacted to Narayana Murthy’s comment and tweeted, “After all these years, still working 70 hour weeks.” He also shared a picture of fellow judges from the sets of Shark Tank India.

4- Namita Thapar

Namitha Thapar, Executive Director, Emcure Pharmaceuticals, reacted to the ongoing debate. She tagged Anupam Mittal and wrote, “if we listen to you & other experts about working 70 hour/ week (plus horrendous commute time) will we ever find time for family, creating precious memories & most importantly for mental health?”

5- CP Gurnani

Tech Mahindra’s CP Gurnani, too, shared his thoughts on working 70 hours a week. He wrote that one should work 40 hours for the company and invest the remaining 30 hours in themselves.

6- Bhavish Aggarwal

Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder of Ola Cabs, in a tweet, said that he agrees with Narayana Murthy. “It’s our moment to go all in and build in 1 generation what other countries have built over many generations!” reads a part of Aggarwal’s tweet.

Bhavish Aggarwal wrote this on X.(X/@bhash)
Bhavish Aggarwal wrote this on X.(X/@bhash)

7- Harsh Mariwala

Marico chairman Harsh Mariwala disagreed with Narayana Murthy’s 70-hour work week remark. Though Mariwala agrees that ‘hard work is the backbone of success,’ he opines, “It is not about the hours clocked in. It’s about the quality and passion one brings to those hours.”

8- Radhika Gupta

Edelweiss MF CEO Radhika Gupta also weighed in on Narayana Murthy’s remark. “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,” wrote Radhika Gupta on X.

9- Sajjan Jindal

Sajjan Jindal, managing director of JSW Steel, tweeted that he ‘wholeheartedly endorse’ Narayana Murthy’s statement. He further said that India presently doesn’t need a five-day week culture. He added that he works for around 10-12 hours a day.

Not just corporate leaders but others too reacted to Murthy’s remarks.

10- Chetan Bhagat

Author Chetan Bhagat, in an Instagram post, shared thoughts on working. He wrote, “Work 35 hours a week. Doesn’t have to be 70.” He, however, added that those 35 hours should really be productive.

11- Suniel Shetty

Actor Suniel Shetty also shared his views on LinkedIn. He wrote, “The way I read his thoughts is simple - It’s about going beyond your comfort zone.” He added, “If I could change something about my 20’s, it’d be putting in more hours on learning more. This coming from someone who was working full time by age 17, didn’t socialise much as I was manning the restaurants on most nights of the week including weekends & especially during festivals, and yet managed to maintain my fitness routines.”

Infosys’ Mohandas Pai also gave his opinion. He shared the data on ‘how many hours each week do urban men (15-19) work each week?’ Pai captioned the data, “Interesting data! This is for all ages. NRN advice was for youngsters, people below 30! Prosperity needs hard work, data shows.”

What did Narayana Murthy say?

Murthy made these remarks while appearing on the inaugural episode of ‘The Record,’ a podcast by 3one4 Capital. During the conversation with Mohandas Pai, Murthy said, “If we want to compete with the fastest growing countries like China and Japan, we need to boost up our work productivity. At the moment, India’s work productivity is very low. The government also must reduce the time it takes for decision-making and curb corruption in bureaucracy.”

“Our youngsters need to work for at least 70 hours a week,” he added.

Read| Narayana Murthy's ‘70-hour work week’ advice for youngsters divides Internet

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