Billionaire and Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy believes the younger generation of Indians should dedicate 70 hours of work per week to help India boost its economy.
What happened: Speaking to former Infosys CFO T.V. Mohandas Pai on 3one4 Capital’s “The Record,” Murthy said that he believes that India must emulate other countries who have successfully grown their economies, including China.
The other issue: Another issue Murthy raised when speaking to Pai was the younger generation’s habit of taking “not-so-desirable habits from the West,” which results in them “not helping the country.”
He then pointed out that “India’s work productivity is one of the lowest in the world.” To fix the problem and for India “to compete with those countries that have made tremendous progress,” the country must first improve its work productivity, reduce government corruption at some level and reduce delays in making bureaucratic decisions.
Controversial comment: Murthy went on to say that the younger generations must also play a bigger role in helping India’s economy, noting, “So, therefore, my request is that our youngsters must say: ‘This is my country. I want to work 70 hours a week.”
The Infosys co-founder suggested that to boost the economy, India needs “highly determined, extremely disciplined and extremely hardworking people.”
“That transformation has to come to youngsters, because youngsters form a significant majority of our population at this point of time, and they are the ones who can build our country with gusto,” he added. According to the International Labor Organization, about 66% of India’s population is aged 35 and under.
The country’s trajectory: India is reportedly projected to expand its economy by 6.3% in 2023, according to the International Monetary Fund.
The South Asian country is expected to surpass the U.S. as the second-largest economy in the world by 2075, an economic growth fueled by a vast labor force, technological advances and rapidly growing capital investment, among others.
Online reaction: Some on X expressed support for Murthy’s recommendations, including Sajjan Jindal, the chairman and managing director of Indian conglomerate JSW Group. In his post, Jindal said that he “wholeheartedly endorses” Murthy’s statement, explaining that “It’s not about burnout, it’s about dedication. We have to make India an economic superpower that we can all be proud of.”
Another X user commented, “70 hours in a week is not too much actually. It’s just 14 hours a day Monday to Friday.”
Meanwhile, other X users were more critical of what Murthy said in the interview, with one user pointing out that people employed by a company should only work the “contracted hours – that’s what they pay you for – and use the rest of your time to do something more valuable.”