Bombay Shaving Company CEO Shantanu Deshpande has been heavily criticized for his recent post on LinkedIn, in which he advised the young generation to put in 18 hours at work for at least the first few years of one's career. In his LinkedIn post, he suggested young employees "worship your work" and advised that maintaining a work-life balance is not essential and significant in the early stages of one's career.
"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," his post read. "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. It is, but not that early," added the founder-CEO of the self-grooming brand.
In the early stages of careers, employees must "worship" their work, and the "flex" built in the first five years carry them for the rest of it, said Deshpande. "Don't do random rona-dhona. Take it on the chin and be relentless. You will be way better for it," he further said.
The CEO's post soon drew flak from several LinkedIn users and millennials in the workforce.
"It's because of people like these that we will raise another generation of slaves who will work to make the likes of Shantanu Deshpande rich. It's high time we say bye to toxic work cultures designed to exploit employees," said a user. Another user pointed out that Mr Deshpande's post comes at a time when mass layoffs by Indian startups have become a norm.
"At a time when mass layoffs by Indian startups have become a norm, Shantanu Deshpande, Founder, and CEO of @BombayShavingCo not only vouching for toxic work culture but also justifying himself even after people have called out his opinion on LinkedIn. What do you think about it?" said another.
Deshpande, meanwhile, edited his post to include his reply to the criticism he has been receiving. "Yikes. So much hate for 18-hour days. it's a proxy for 'giving your all and then some. Edit 2 - for those wondering about the culture at BSc, feel free to come any time or talk to any of our people," he said, referring to Bombay Shaving Company as "BSc".