Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy emphasized the importance of hard work in achieving prosperity, stating that every nation that became prosperous did so through dedicated effort. Murthy, who previously recommended that Indian youngsters work at least 70 hours a week, revealed in an interview with The Economic Times that he himself put in extensive hours during the establishment of Infosys. Until 1994, he worked over 85 to 90 hours a week, arriving at the office at 6:20 am and leaving at 8:30 pm six days a week.
Attributing his work ethic to his parents, who taught him that hard work was the key to escaping poverty, Murthy highlighted the significance of productivity in each work hour. Throughout his 40-plus years of professional life, he maintained a 70-hour workweek, considering the extensive hours not to be a waste.
In a conversation with former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai and on 3one4 Capital’s podcast ‘The Record,’ Murthy discussed India’s need to enhance work productivity to compete with rapidly growing countries like China and Japan. He drew parallels with the post-World War II efforts in Germany and Japan, where people worked extra hours for their countries’ sake.
Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal supported Murthy’s views, asserting that it’s not the time to work less and entertain oneself, but rather to focus on building India’s future. Industrialist Sajjan Jindal endorsed Murthy’s statement, expressing that a five-day week culture is not suitable for a rapidly developing country like India.
However, there was dissent on social media, with film producer Ronnie Screwvala noting that boosting productivity isn’t solely about working longer hours.