New Delhi: Indian-American businessman and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Vinod Khosla has backed Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy’s suggestion that India’s youth must work 70 hours every week to improve the country’s overall work productivity. Responding to a question by a user on X, Khosla, the ace venture capitalist, said those who felt “attacked” by Murthy’s opinion needed mental health therapy.
“For people who ‘felt attacked’ by this they need mental health therapy. They should learn to ‘toughen up’ and not feel attacked. OK to not work 70 hrs/wk and live with the consequences of the choices you make. He is speaking to ‘career ambitious’ young people but there are other ways to live with different choices,” his post read.
The 68-year-old billionaire had said in the past that he works 80-hour weeks, and that the “grind doesn’t appear to stop anytime soon”. Further, Khosla said that one should be internally-driven as bigger titles, bigger houses don’t make everyone happy.
“Not working 70 hrs/wk may not get you the biggest house or car to show to your neighbors, but you can make that choice. Lots of other things make people happy. Be internally driven and not externally driven by what others expect of success: bigger titles, bigger houses don’t make everyone happy,” the Silicon Valley veteran said.
In a recent episode of the “The Cerebral Valley Podcast”, Khosla said he plans on investing for the next 25 years if his health permits. “I have this saying ‘You grow old when you retire, you don’t retire when you grow old,’” the investor continued. “I’ve seen too many people retire and grow old. So I clearly plan to do -- health permitting -- this for the next 25 years. And then I’ll be Warren Buffet’s age and he’s still doing it.”
Khosla’s investing career began after he became a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 1986. In 2004, he started his own VC firm he called Khosla Ventures, which backed companies like Instacart, Impossible Foods, and DoorDash.
Murthy had sparked a debate after he said in a YouTube podcast that if India wants to compete with developed economies that have made remarkable progress in recent decades, young people should work for 70 hours a week.
In a recent interaction with Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath at the Bengaluru Tech Summit, he also advised infrastructure sector employees to work in three shifts instead of one. While some people agreed with Murthy, the majority were sceptical and worried about the health implications of such a demanding work schedule.
Prior to Khosla, Chairman of JSW Group Sajjan Jindal and Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty, backed Murthy’s views. CRED founder Kunal Shah said that “no big achievement can come with work-life balance” while mentioning that choosing “work-life balance is a personal choice”.