• Saturday, December 09, 2023


Sunak’s father-in-law suggests youngsters should work for 70 hours a week

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

PRIME MINISTER Rishi Sunak’s entrepreneur father-in-law has suggested Indian youngsters should work for 70 hours a week to help the south Asian nation compete with bigger economies.

NR Narayana Murthy said India should emulate Japan and Germany which made rapid progress after World War II by “working a certain number of extra hours”.

He is the co-founder of the Indian software major Infosys in which his daughter and Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty holds a minority stake.

Murthy, 77, told the company’s former chief finance officer Mohandas Pai for a podcast that India’s work productivity was “one of the lowest in the world”.

“Unless we improve our work productivity, unless we reduce corruption in the government at some level, because we have been reading I don’t know the truth of it, unless we reduce the delays in our bureaucracy in taking this decision, we will not be able to compete with those countries that have made tremendous progress.”

“Therefore, my request is that our youngsters must say, ‘This is my country. I’d like to work 70 hours a week’,” Murthy said, adding this was how the Germans and Japanese progressed.

According to him, the government alone cannot change the fortunes of a country.

“Our culture has to change to that of highly determined, extremely disciplined and extremely hard-working people. We need to be disciplined and improve our work productivity. I think unless we do that, what can poor government do?”

However, his remarks sparked a debate on work-life balance.

But Murthy’s wife Sudha defended his remarks saying they reflected his own work culture.

“He has worked 80 to 90 hours a week, so, he doesn’t know what less than that is”, the writer told News18, adding her husband believed “in real hard work and he lived like that.”

Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnani also endorsed Murthy’s view saying the entrepreneur meant a part of the 70-hour work week should be used for one’s own progress.

“He hasn’t said (one should) work 70 hours for the company – work 40 hours for the company but work 30 hours for yourself…” he said.

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