Business Matters | Is Narayana Murthy right in asking youngsters to work 70 hours a week?

A video on Infosys founder Narayana Murthy’s ‘70-hour work week’ idea 

November 01, 2023 07:14 pm | Updated November 03, 2023 07:38 pm IST

Should youngsters throw themselves at work and notch up 70 or more hours every week? An IT industry icon, Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy, certainly seems to favour the idea. 

In China, the controversial 996 culture is prevalent, endorsed by the likes of Alibaba founder Jack Ma. In 2019, he said that if we love our jobs, 996 is not a problem. If you don’t, then every minute is a torture. He was referring to the work culture of 12-hour workdays – or 9 am to 9 pm, 6 days a week; which comes to 72 hours per week.

A CNN article from the time quotes him as saying: “The real 996 is not simply overtime work.” He is further reported to have said that everyone had the right to choose their own lifestyle but those who work shorter hours “won’t taste the happiness and rewards of hard work.” 

There has been mixed response to Mr Murthy’s comment. Some have questioned the wisdom in this while others, such as Ola’s Bhavish Aggarwal said he’d agree with Mr. Murthy. JSW Group’s Sajjan Jindal too said he agreed with Murthy. “It’s not about burnout; it’s about dedication.” He also points out that a 5-day work week culture is not what a rapidly-developing nation such as India needs. 

But does logging in all those extra hours benefit everyone? Maybe. Maybe not. How could working overtime impact your health?

Read more on this topic: Why Narayana Murthy is wrong about the 70-hour work week

Putting Infosys founder Narayana Murthy’s ‘70-hour work week’ idea into perspective | Data

Script and presentation: K. Bharat Kumar

Production: Shibu Narayan

Videography: Thamodharan Bharath

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