Narayan Murthy’s comments about youngsters working 70 hours a week have sparked widespread debate on how ethical such a thing would be.
Among the already difficult working environment of the country, where youngsters and even seniors are working incredibly long hours with not many incentives it is certainly a comment to make. The current job-cut era, where companies are firing people by hundreds and even thousands, is not helping employees be secure in their positions either.
In the midst of all this, Namita Thapar has come out with a reply to Anupam Mittal after the latter supported the Infosys founder’s comments.
What Did Namita Thapar Say?
Soon after the debate around Narayana Murthy’s comments broke out, Namita Thapar tweeted out on 31st October 2023 writing “Halloween shananigans are always fun, kiddos & me made these goodies, Anupam Mittal if we listen to you & other experts about working 70 hour/ week (plus horrendous commute time) will we ever find time for family, creating precious memories & most importantly for mental health?”
To this, Anupam Mittal founder of matrimonial site Shaadi.com replied, “Not counting but am pretty sure you are up there in terms of weekly hours Better to embrace and find work-life harmony than to continue to be torn between work-life balance”.
Namita then added to this that “All that 70-100 hrs a wk will ensure is that Pharma co’s keep making tons of money due to poor physical & mental health..not ideal, plus “each to his/ her own”, we have to help each employee be “the best version of themselves” how can we as leaders or companies ever enforce?”
Thapar, CEO of Emcure Pharmaceuticals and Anupam Mittal have also been judges together on the show Shark Tank India.
Namita was actually referring to Mittal’s post made on 28th October where he posted a selfie with the caption “After all these years, still working 70-hour weeks”. The photo also included the other ‘sharks’ Namita Thapar, Aman Gupta (boAt), Amit Jain (CarDekho) and Vineeta Singh (Sugar Cosmetics).
What Was Anupam Mittal Talking About?
Mittal was in his caption making a reference to the comments made by Infosys founder Narayan Murthy that led to some heated debates on how correct his words were or not.
The tech giant appeared on the first episode of 3one4 Capital’s podcast, The Record where he was also joined by former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai.
He said that if India wants to progress to the level of other advanced countries, then the young working individuals must work much more than they are now preferably around 70 hours a week.
Claiming issues like corruption in government and bureaucratic delays on the slow progress he said “India’s work productivity is 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.”
The 77-year-old then said the controversial comment “So therefore, my request is that our youngsters must say, ‘This is my country. I’d like to work 70 hours a week.’”
He further added examples of other countries saying “You know, this is exactly what the Germans and Japanese did after the Second World War… they made sure that every German worked extra hours for a certain number of years.”
Putting the emphasis on young people changing the culture with discipline and hard work he said “We need to be disciplined and improve our work productivity. I think unless we do that, what can poor government do?
And every government is as good as the culture of the people. And our culture has to change to that of highly determined, extremely disciplined and extremely hard-working people.
And that transformation has to come to youngsters because youngsters form a significant majority of our population at this point of time, and they are the ones who can build our country.”
A lot of people found these comments insensitive, with one cardiologist from Bengaluru saying that if young people work so many hours in a week they would not have enough time left to exercise, relax and socialise thus also leading to more cases of heart attacks among youngsters.
Several social media users also commenting on Mittal’s post wrote “I think there is a difference in working for yourself and working for peanuts,” while another said, “Invariably every Indian does, who reaches home at 6:30 pm anyway.”
Another user wrote “Working 70-hour weeks consistently is so tough; remember, we only get one life and one family. Don’t lose yourself in overwork, risking burnout and sacrificing irreplaceable moments with loved ones. Your well-being matters; take care.”
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