• Friday, December 01, 2023


Indian industrialist Sajjan Jindal backs Narayana Murthy’s ‘work culture’ idea, says Modi works for 14-16 hours

The JSW chairman, however, faced a backlash over his viewpoints backing the Infosys co-founder’s suggestion for improving work ethic.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi ahead of addressing the media at the old parliament premises on the first day of the five-day special session, in New Delhi on Monday, September 18, 2023. (ANI Photo/Rahul Singh)

By: Shubham Ghosh

JSW CHAIRMAN Sajjan Jindal on Friday (27) backed Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy’s recent suggestion of 70-hour work week saying India’s specific circumstances, that are different from those of some developed economies, make it significant for the South Asian economy not to adopt “shorter work weeks” as a rule. He also cited the strong work ethics that Indian prime minister Narendra Modi follows in a day.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Jindal said, “I wholeheartedly endorse Mr Narayana Murthy’s statement. It’s not about burnout, it’s about dedication. We have to make India an economic superpower that we can all be proud of in India 2047.”

Sajjan Jindal,
Sajjan Jindal, managing director of JSW Steel at the first day of the three-day B20 Summit in New Delhi on August 25, 2023. (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

“A 5-day week culture is not what a rapidly developing nation of our size needs,” he added.

The veteran then cited the example of Modi saying he worked for 14-16 hours a day.

“Our PM @narendramodi ji works over 14-16 hours every day. My father used to work 12-14 hours, 7 days a week. I work 10-12 hours every day. We have to find passion in our work and in nation-building,” Jindal added.

“Our circumstances are unique and the challenges we face are distinct from the developed nations. They are working 4 or 5 days a week because their earlier generations clocked longer & more productive hours. We can’t let shorter work weeks elsewhere become our standard,” the billionaire industrialist added.

The 63-year-old said India’s youth is its greatest strength and for the country to become a superpower, the current generation has to prioritise work over leisure.

“As we progress, there will be opportunities for comfort, and the youth of 2047 will reap the benefits of our sacrifices and diligence,” he wrote on X.

Earlier this week, Murthy ignited a nationwide debate with his advice that the youth of India should be ready to work for 70 hours a week to elevate the country’s work culture and compete effectively on the global stage.

Stressing on the urgency of changing India’s work productivity, the 77-year-old Murthy said unless the country’s youth commit to more working hours, it will struggle to match with economies that have made remarkable progress over the last few decades.

Jindal’s remarks earned a backlash on X, just like Murthy.

One user said, “Would like to see you take the public commute to work and then work for 70 hours a week. What about our personal life? Should we give it up altogether? Stop using our PM’s name to further your nefarious thoughts. FYI, Indians are amongst the most overworked workforce in the world.”

Another user said they should get additional pay for working extra hours.

“Days of earning today and living tomorrow are gone. Don’t blabber just like that. If you want employees to work more hours, link the pay to the number of hours. Can’t be a one-way traffic,” another comment read.

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