Infosys founder Narayana Murthy believes that if India wants to make significant progress then the Indian youth will have to step up productivity and work hard, to the extent of even 70 hours a week. Murthy made this request to youngsters in the debut episode of “The Record”, a video series by 3one4 Capital. My request is that our youngsters must say: “This is my country, I want to work 70 hours a week.”
In conversation with former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai, Narayana Murthy stressed on the need to pick the right habits from the West.“Somehow our youth have the habit of taking not so desirable habits from the west and then not helping the country,” he said.
Talking about the rise of emerging markets and especially that of China, Murthy said, “If we can look at countries that have made significant progress in the last 25-30 years. Why I’m saying 25-30 years is then they would have gone through some ups and downs, they have gone through some difficulties. If they can look at a country like China, if they can look at other countries that have made significant progress economically, and then say what are the policy decisions they took so that they could grow very well, then I believe that we would also grow.”
Murthy strongly advocated for bureaucratic efficiency to make India more competitive globally. “…unless we reduce the delays in our bureaucracy in taking decisions, we will not be able to compete with those countries that have made tremendous progress.”
He lamented that 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, you know some level, because we have been reading I don’t know the truth of that, unless we reduce the delays in our bureaucracy in taking decision we will not be able to compete with those countries that have made tremendous progress,” Murthy said.
Murthy gave the example of how corporates and governments in Germany and Japan decided to rebuild their countries after the second world war. “…they made sure that every German worked extra hours for a certain number of years. So I hope our leaders too will be able to, when I say leaders, corporate leaders too, will be able to address our youngsters and say (that) for the first time India has received certain respect. This is the time for us to consolidate and accelerate the progress and for doing that we need to work very hard. We need to be disciplined and improve our work productivity,” Murthy said.
According to Murthy, every government is as good as the culture of the people. “Our culture has to change to that of highly determined, extremely disciplined and extremely hardworking people. That transformation has to come to youngsters because youngsters form a significant majority of our population at this point of time. They are the ones who can build our country you know with gusto,” he opined.

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