Kotak’s Nilesh Shah proposes 84-Hour work week, Internet Reacts

Kotak's Nilesh Shah proposes 84-Hour work week, Internet Reacts

Kotak's Nilesh Shah proposes 84-Hour work week, Internet Reacts

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Nilesh Shah, Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company, has sparked a major debate on social media by suggesting that India needs to adopt an 84-hour work week to boost its growth. His comments come a few months after Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy stirred controversy by advocating for a 70-hour work week for young professionals to help India compete globally.

Speaking on the podcast ‘Invest Aaj For Kal with Anant Ladha’, Shah emphasized the need for a generation to embrace a 12-hour workday culture, similar to that seen in countries like China, Korea, and Japan. He argued that this would “accelerate the country’s growth” and elevate people to “middle and upper-income levels.”

In a viral clip from the podcast, Shah cited Charlie Munger’s writings, noting that South Koreans worked 84 hours a week for a generation. He remarked, “Recently in India, Narayana Murthy mentioned working 70 hours a week, which created a controversy. He said that Indians need to work like Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese. If we work hard, there is no doubt that India’s growth will continue, the pace will accelerate, and there will come a time when there will be no sub-Saharan Africa-level poverty in India. We will have transferred everyone to middle-income and upper-income levels.”

Economist Sanjeev Sanyal supported Shah’s proposal on X (formerly Twitter), stating, “I agree. One generation will have to put in that effort… and unlike the examples mentioned, also remember to procreate. It is doable (with the occasional break). We are that generation and perhaps the next one.”

The comments have ignited a heated discussion online. Some users backed the idea, agreeing that hard work is essential for the country’s progress. 

One user commented, “Absolutely correct… A generation has to work hard and long hours to uplift the country. You may ridicule Mr. Murthy, but you have to work that hard to remain competitive because someone is willing to work harder and offer a better value proposition in another country.”

“Raising children properly while working 84 hour a week seems unreasonable. We seem to be doing a poor job with a 60 hour week itself,” said another user.

A third user said, “It’s a misconception that increased work hours lead to more output. In fact, it’s found to be counterproductive because after a while it starts giving diminishing returns as employees have less time for other pursuits. Indians already put in long working hours while wages++”

“No we don’t. We are in the 21st century not building pyramids. Don’t give examples of Japan Sweden Switzerland or Antarctica. These countries has their own problems. Let’s just work as per our capacity and try to innovate and evolve rather than going back to stone age,” said a person.

A user added, “I’ve often worked 12 hours … in 365 days … 12 hours a day with no breaks everyday would cause a horrible demise in my case .. or very rapid insanity… what to do”

Start paying your employees properly before talking about implementing this,” said another X user.

Others, however, raised concerns about the feasibility and impact on personal lives. The debate continues as opinions clash over the balance between economic growth and work-life balance.