Narayana Murthy again defends 70-hr work week advice for Indian youth

New Delhi: Defending his 70-hour work week call to Indian youth that created a furore late last year, Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy has said that he has not given such advice to people without having done it himself.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18 along with his wife Sudha Murty, he said that youth in this country need to work hard where less privileged people already work extremely hard to make ends meet.

“If anybody that has performed much better than me in their own field, not necessarily in my field, I would respect, I would call them, and I would say, where do you think I was wrong in saying this? But I didn’t find it,” Narayana Murthy said when asked about his 70-hour work week advice.

“A lot of my western friends, a lot of NRIs, a lot of good people in India called me, and without exception, they were all very happy (with my advice),” the Infosys founder added.

He justified his advice, saying that we have to work hard in this country because the poor farmer works very hard.

“You know, the poor factory worker works very hard. So, therefore, those of us who received education at a huge discount, thanks to the subsidy from the government for all these education, owe it to the less fortunate citizens of India to work extremely hard,” he noted.

Sudha Murty said that her father used to work more than 70 hours a week.

“My sister is a doctor. She also works more than 70 hours. Narayana Murthy has worked 90 hours a week,” she said.

After triggering a huge debate over his statement in October that youth should work 70 hours a week, Narayana Murthy said in December that he used to be in office at 6:20 a.m.

The 77-year-old came out in support of his statement that went viral and drew mixed reactions from people.

“I used to be in the office at 6:20 a.m. and leave the office at 8:30 p.m. and worked six days a week. I know every nation that became prosperous did so through hard work,” Narayana Murthy had told The Economic Times.

“During my entire 40-plus years of professional life, I worked 70 hours a week. When we had a six-day week till 1994, I used to work at least 85 to 90 hours a week. That has not been a waste,” he added.


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