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31st Aug 2022

CEO criticised for advocating 18-hour workdays and telling people to ‘worship’ their job

Danny Jones

CEO criticised for advising 18-hour workdays and promoting toxic work culture

Don’t know about that one, chief

A CEO is getting considerable flak on social media after he gave some rather ruthless professional advice to young people looking to build a successful career: work 18-hour days and simply “worship” your job.

Shantanu Deshpande, the founder and CEO of Bombay Shaving Co, dished out his rather cutthroat approach to work life on his LinkedIn page and it has received quite a response – so much so that he had to edit the post. Twice.

The 35-year-old Indian businessman advises that young people going into a new career should “throw [themselves] into it” by working “18 hour days for at least 4-5 years”. Oh, but do be sure to find time to “eat well and stay fit.”

Continuing, Deshpande largely rubbishes “work life balance, spending time with family…rejuvenation” and everything else that he considers “bla bla”.

While he admits that they are important, he believes people shouldn’t be that bothered about it so early in their professional and personal lives, claiming that if you “worship” your work, you build flexibility which can be enjoyed further down the line.

He concludes by urging people to avoid “random rona-dhon [cribbing]” and to simply put their heads down and be “relentless”.

Safe to say, people across social media had their own take on his advice:

Reacting in the comments below his original post, many remarked things like, “These [type of] dudes are responsible for poor work culture reputation at startups. Nonsense crapheads” and “Why don’t u keep working 18 hrs and leave our kids alone to live a healthy life..Keep your ‘rona dhona’ to yoursef…”

One person wrote a lengthy paragraph condemning the notion of 18-hour workdays and what the attitude towards work is for regular, everyday people trying to pay the bills and live their life.

“This is such horrendous, wrong advice… Early 20s are a time to explore, travel, date, break up and have fun. You never get back those years, and running behind a career 24×7 is a depressing way to spend it – unless it’s one’s passion.

“This attitude of ‘work is worship’ is not too different from ‘arbeit macht frei’. Work is a means to an end, and that end is having enough time for yourself things you love to do.”

Unsurprisingly, there were some who showed support for the CEO, citing that they believe lots of young new talents are more focused on things like enjoying life and taking days off. God forbid.

Let us know what you think in the comments — though we’re fairly certain we already know the answer…

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