Young people have "enormous responsibility to work very, very hard" - tech titan doubles down on his call for employees to work punishingly long hours

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Indian billionaire and Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy has reiterated his call for the country’s youth to embrace long working hours as a means of contributing to the country’s progress and helping the less fortunate.

In October 2023, Murthy said that the nation’s younger workers should be committing at least 70 hours per week to their careers.

In a new interview with India Today, Murthy has reaffirmed his statement, claiming that he worked around 85-90 hours per week up until his retirement.

Indian billionaire asks workers to work longer hours

India Today Consulting Editor Rajdeep Sardesai began the interview by asking Murthy whether he would continue to stick by his previous comments, given the backlash that followed.

In response, Murthy said those who have benefited from state-backed initiatives, like study fee reductions, have an “enormous responsibility to work very, very hard” to support future generations of “the poorer sections of society.”

Comparing German and Japanese post-WW2 workers, Murthy then revised his comment to suggest that workers should instead focus on extremely high levels of productivity, rather than focusing on 70 hours as a goal.

Asked about whether she agrees with his comments, Narayana Murthy’s wife, Sudha Murthy, added that work for them had always been a joy, and that they still managed to spend quality time with their family.

Narayana Murthy added that the quality of time spent with their children was more important than the quantity, and that he would always be there in the event of any difficulties.

Akshata Murty, one of the couple’s two children, was reported by The Guardian in 2022 to hold a mere 0.91% stake in Infosys, which at the time was valued at a staggering $900m. In 2009, she became the wife of Rishi Sunak, who went on to become the Prime Minister of the UK in October 2022.

While Murthy’s dedication to work is undeniable, many argue that long hours may not be suitable for societal and mental well-being. Today, many Asian countries including Japan, South Korea, and China have faced challenges relating to overworking, while other countries have measures in place to discourage or prevent this type of culture.

More from TechRadar Pro

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!