The 70 Hour work week

POSTED: January 22, 2024

According to India Today, in October last year Infosys co-founder Narayan Murthy sparked “global debate following suggestion that young Indians should be prepared to work up to 70 hours a week to play a critical role in India’s development and growth”.

Meanwhile in The Register this week, Narayan Murthy continues to believe this. In another, very recent, interview, he said “I don’t think 70 is important, all that it means is that you are productive, work very hard like the Germans did after World War II, like Japanese did. We owe it to the poor people to work hard and make the quality of their life a little bit better.”

Laura Dobberstein wrote the article from which I quote and she adds that while “the septuagenarian’s call to eat, sleep and breathe work was allegedly to improve the lives of the less fortunate, his wife’s attitude fell more in line with the bootstrapping myth”.

This refers, among other things, to the fact that Sudha Murty was “much more qualified” as an engineer than all the other founders of India’s second-largest IT firm, but her husband decided that she should stay at home because he did not want to start a family firm.