Kotak AMC’s Nilesh Shah Proposes 84-Hour Work Week, Internet Reacts

Kotak AMC's Nilesh Shah Proposes 84-Hour Work Week, Internet Reacts

Mr Shah said that the 84-hour work week would “accelerate the country’s growth”.

A few months ago, Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy‘s suggestion that youngsters should be prepared to work for 70 hours a week if the country has to compete effectively on the global stage ignited a social media storm. Now, Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company’s Managing Director Nilesh Shah has added to the work week debate and said that for India to grow more rapidly, a generation of people needs to embrace the 12-hour workday culture which is common in China, Korea, and Japan.

Speaking on the podcast ‘Invest Aaj For Kal with Anant Ladha’, Mr Shah said that the 84-hour work week would “accelerate the country’s growth” and will help people to transfer to “middle and upper-income levels”.

In a clip, going viral on social media, he said, “Charlie Munger wrote in one of his books that people in Korea worked 84 hours a week for one generation. That means 12 hours a day, every day, every month, every year.”

Mr Shah added, “Recently in India, Narayana Murthy mentioned working 70 hours a week, which created a controversy. He said that Indians need to work like Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese. If we work hard, there is no doubt that India’s growth will continue, the pace will accelerate, and there will come a time when there will be no sub-Saharan Africa-level poverty in India. We will have transferred everyone to middle-income and upper-income levels.”

Economist Sanjeev Sanyal agreed to Mr Shah’s suggestion and said on X (formerly Twitter), “I agree. One generation will have to put in that effort ….. and unlike the examples mentioned, also remember to procreate. It is doable (with the occasional break). We are that generation and perhaps the next one.”

The comments by the Kotak boss sparked a debate among users on social media.

A social media user said, “Absolutely correct… A generation has to work hard and long hrs to uplift the country. You may ridicule Mr. Murthi,but you have to work that hard to remain competitive because someone is willing to work harder and offer better value proposition in another country.”

“Raising children properly while working 84 hour a week seems unreasonable. We seem to be doing a poor job with a 60 hour week itself,” said another user.

A third user said, “It’s a misconception that increased work hours lead to more output. In fact, it’s found to be counterproductive because after a while it starts giving diminishing returns as employees have less time for other pursuits. Indians already put in long working hours while wages++”

“No we don’t. We are in the 21st century not building pyramids. Don’t give examples of Japan Sweden Switzerland or Antarctica. These countries has their own problems. Let’s just work as per our capacity and try to innovate and evolve rather than going back to stone age,” said a person.

A user added, “I’ve often worked 12 hours … in 365 days … 12 hours a day with no breaks everyday would cause a horrible demise in my case .. or very rapid insanity… what to do”

“Start paying your employees properly before talking about implementing this,” said another X user.

A person remarked, “This is privilege speaking!”

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