Narayana Murthy’s ‘work 70 hours a week’ remark sparks a new debate

BusinessNarayana Murthy’s 'work 70 hours a week' remark sparks a new debate


Recently, co-founder of Infosys NR Narayana Murthy came up with a suggestion for increasing the working hours to 70 hours a week in order to enhance the country’s productivity. However, it has really started a fresh round of debate among people working in the sector along with employees in the tech industry sharing their views. 

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Some people have supported the tech veteran whereas, others have simply raised questions about the stagnant salary pay offered to freshers at Infosys. For the unversed, Infosys is the second largest company in the technology field in India. Obviously, it literally shows that Murthy’s message for the youth to work for 70 hours a week didn’t really sit well. Just imagine, 14 hours a day for 5 days a week, will it really make the country rank number one or two in terms of GDP?

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A techie took to social media to share how Infosys is actually exploiting freshers by paying only Rs. 3.72 lakh on a yearly basis in 2023. She said that when she started her IT career in 1999, as a fresher her salary was Rs 3.55 lakh per annum after tax or say roughly Rs 29,000 per month. She was shocked to note that in 2023, Infosys is still paying freshers’ packages similar to what she got in 1999.

Several employees, employers, freshers, and even investors didn’t really agree with the idea of Murthy. 

Marico founder and chairman Harsh Mariwala also was not happy with the ’70 hours a week’ work culture recommended by Murthy. He said that hard work is important but it is the quality and smartness that one brings to work during their working hours. He said, “For our youth to be truly engaged and motivated, we need to ensure they are placed in roles that not only challenge them but also foster growth and learning. When an individual sees a path where hard work translates to a promising future, they are naturally inclined to give their best.” You can read the tweet here.

Entrepreneur and film producer Ronnie Screwvala also said that work quality should be counted over the number of working hours. He wrote, “upskilling, having a positive work environment and fair pay for the work done”. “Quality of work done > clocking in more hours.”

It is really unsatisfactory to actually find expert and veteran leaders coming up with such suggestions to work for longer hours, especially in the technology field that wants to replace humans with its tools and techniques. Visit any doctor’s clinic and you will find so many tech employees are suffering different ailments because of the non-stop work that they do with their technological devices like smartphones, laptops, and whatnot! 

So, being an experienced industrialist and coming up with such narrow-minded comments doesn’t really go well with anyone. Think about the entire situation from a holistic view. If people are going to suffer from different physical and mental ailments because of overworking and having no work-life balance, what will the country do with its GDP?

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