The founder and chief executive of Bombay Shaving Company, Shantanu Deshpande, has invited the internet’s wrath for advising freshers to work 18 hours a day instead of trying to find work-life balance.
In a LinkedIn post shared this morning, Deshpande advised young professionals to devote 18 hours a day to their jobs. This dedication, he professed, should continue for the first four or five years after one finds employment.
“When you are 22 and new in your job, throw yourself into it. Eat well and stay fit, but put in the 18 hour days for at least 4-5 years,” said Shantanu Deshpande.
“I see a LOT of youngsters who watch random content all over and convince themselves that 'work life balance, spending time with family, rejuvenation bla bla' is important,” he wrote. “It is, but not that early.
“That early, worship your work… Don't do random rona-dhona. Take it on the chin and be relentless. You will be way better for it,” the CEO of Bombay Shaving Company continued.
At a time when personal and professional balance is a topic in the limelight, Deshpande’s non-conforming viewpoint made him the subject of mockery and anger on social media. His LinkedIn post comes at a time when ‘quiet quitting’ has become a worldwide phenomenon. The term refers to workers refusing to put in overtime, take calls after work hours and generally doing the bare minimum required at their jobs to “push back against what some see as the stifling trap of constant connectivity,” as per AFP.
Facing a barrage of disparaging comments, Deshpande offered a clarification. His 18-hours a day diktat, he said, was not meant to be taken literally.
“It's a proxy for 'giving your all and then some',” he wrote on LinkedIn.
The explanation did little to mollify the huge section of the internet that felt asking freshers and youngsters to discard personal lives in favour of professional growth amounted to unethical business practices.
“With all due respect, Mr. Founder and CEO, when you say 'giving your all and then some'.. how much really is enough for people like you? 18 hours and 6 hours in hand? That's it? Where does everything else fit in? In the 18 hours or the 6 hours? Do you need to be reminded that a human needs a minimum of 7 hours of undisturbed sleep to be able to stay fresh all day?” one commenter wrote.
“I totally disagree to this. Family should always be a priority in any phase of life. Whatever you are doing, is for them. Makes no sense to park them and concentrate on building an empire,” another said.
Reactions were similar on Twitter, where screenshots of Deshpande’s post have been circulating.
Wow. Ugh. pic.twitter.com/qWrVMKWuCV— Sukhada (@appadappajappa) August 30, 2022
Why stop with 18? Why not work 24 or 48 hours straight and build even more "flex"? That way, you won't even have to take it just on your chin, but on your entire body and mind too. pic.twitter.com/s9ZXqEIhYb— Karthik (@beastoftraal) August 30, 2022
After several people slammed the CEO for his take on professionalism and wondered what the work culture at his company would be like, Deshpande replied: “For those wondering about culture at BSC, feel free to come any time or talk to any of our people.”