Young Indians should work 70 hours a week, says billionaire tech founder
New Delhi (CNN) — One of India’s most revered entrepreneurs believes that young people need to put in exceptionally long hours at work if they want to see the country become a global economic powerhouse.
N.R. Narayana Murthy, co-founder of the software behemoth Infosys, said India needs “highly determined, extremely disciplined and extremely hardworking” youngsters, who should put in 70 hours a week at work.
“You know, this is exactly what the Germans and Japanese did after the Second World War,” Murthy told Mohandas Pai, the former CFO of Infosys, in a chat published on YouTube Thursday.
Murthy, whose wealth is estimated at over $4 billion by Forbes, co-founded Infosys in 1981. It went on to become one of the world’s biggest outsourcing firms.
He is also the father-in-law of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
“Somehow our youth have the habit of taking not so desirable habits from the West and then not helping the country,” Murthy said. “India’s work productivity is one of the lowest in the world.”
He added that Indians should learn from policies that helped other emerging markets, particularly China.
The tech tycoon said that corporate leaders in India should motivate young people to “work very hard” by telling them that “for the first time India has received certain respect (globally). This is the time for us to consolidate and accelerate the progress.”
India, one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, is projected to expand 6.3% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Murthy’s comments on putting in longer hours professionally come at a time when there has been a drastic shift in the way people think about work in the West and in China.
For a few years now, many young people in China have embraced a new philosophy they’ve called “lying flat,” to fight against the country’s “996” excessive work culture‚ or the practice of working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week.
In the United States, quiet quitting became a workplace trend last year, in which people decided to stop doing work that is beyond what they were hired to do.