Chetan Bhagat Biography

(Indian Author and Columnist)

Birthday: April 22, 1974 (Taurus)

Born In: New Delhi, India

Chetan Bhagat is an Indian author, motivational speaker, TV personality, and former banker. He is widely regarded as the most popular English-language author in India. Born and raised in New Delhi, he studied at ‘IIT’ and then ‘IIM,’ two of the most prestigious educational institutions of India. After obtaining his MBA degree from ‘IIM,’ he moved to Hong Kong and worked as an investment banker in firms such as ‘Goldman Sachs’ and ‘Deutsche Bank.’ He was highly inspired to become a writer in his younger years and began writing his first novel while working in Hong Kong. The novel, titled ‘Five Point Someone,’ became a big critical and commercial success. Following this, he went on to write more novels, such as ‘One Night @ the Call Center’ and ‘The 3 Mistakes of My Life.’ Many successful films have been made on his novels, such as ‘2 States,’ ‘Half Girlfriend,’ and ‘Five Point Someone.’ He also worked on a few film screenplays and has appeared on TV as a celebrity dance reality-show judge. He is one of the very few Indian authors to have attained celebrity status in pop culture.

Quick Facts

Indian Celebrities Born In April

Also Known As: Chetan Prakash Bhagat

Age: 49 Years, 49 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Anusha Bhagat

siblings: Ketan Bhagat

children: Ishaan Bhagat, Shyam Bhagat

Born Country: India

Novelists Indian Men

Height: 5'6" (168 cm), 5'6" Males

Notable Alumni: Indian Institute Of Management Ahmedabad, Indian Institute Of Technology Delhi

City: New Delhi, India

More Facts

education: Indian Institute Of Technology Delhi, Indian Institute Of Management Ahmedabad

awards: CNN-News18 Indian of the Year

Childhood & Early Life
Chetan Prakash Bhagat was born on April 22, 1974, in New Delhi, India, into an upper-middle-class Punjabi Hindu family. He was raised in Naraina Vihar, West Delhi. His father worked in the Indian army, and his mother was a government employee. He studied in local Delhi schools.

Chetan Bhagat later joined the ‘Army Public School’ in Dhaula Kuan, Delhi. He had an impeccable sense of humor as a kid and also loved mathematics. He excelled in academics and scored high grades consistently. He was also a keen student of English literature and began writing during his high-school years.

His love for writing began when he was in fifth standard. His school had started a literary magazine of their own, and Chetan was one of the students who were pushed to write for the magazine. Chetan wrote a joke for the magazine. When the joke was published, seeing his name in print on a magazine gave him intense pleasure. He thus ended up writing more in the coming years.
Following his high-school graduation from the ‘Army Public School,’ he joined one of the most prestigious educational institutions of India, the ‘Indian Institute of Technology’ (IIT) in Delhi. He studied mechanical engineering and graduated with a BTech degree in 1995.
Following his graduation, he joined the ‘Indian Institute of Management’ (IIM) in Ahmedabad, from where he obtained an MBA degree. By then, he had begun writing more. However, becoming a full-time writer was still a dream for him, as he was from a middle-class family. He soon got placed from ‘IIM-A’ and moved to Hong Kong.
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Banking Career
Following his graduation in 1997, he was placed with ‘Peregrine Investments Holdings,’ which was one of the biggest investment banks in Asia. He moved to Hong Kong with his family. He worked at ‘Peregrine’ for 6 months before the bank shut its operations.
He stayed back in Hong Kong, and in 1998, he earned a job at ‘Goldman Sachs,’ one of the biggest investment banks in the world. However, he never quite liked his job there. Most of his hatred toward his job was due to his growing interest in writing and the fact that he did not like his boss there. However, he did not quit and continued to work at the bank, as he had no other lucrative opportunity.
Apart from working, he continued to write what later came to be known as his first novel. He wrote for many years before he came up with a workable draft of ‘Five Point Someone.’ Meanwhile, he worked at ‘Goldman Sachs’ for many years and then finally quit his job to move on to a better job.

Chetan Bhagat joined ‘Deutsche Bank’ in the mid-2000s and earned the position of the vice-president in the bank by 2006. By then, he had already become a bestselling author in India. Despite this, he was not making enough money to rely on full-time writing. In March 2008, he moved back to India after working in Hong Kong for 10 years. Within a few months, he was making a lot of money through his novels. He thus decided to quit his investment-banking job.

However, he maintained a low profile at his workplace and did not tell any of his colleagues that he had become a somewhat successful author.
Writing Career

In the early 2000s, while Chetan Bhagat was working at ‘Goldman Sachs’ in Hong Kong, he had begun working on his debut novel, ‘Five Point Someone.’ He wrote during office hours and kept rewriting and polishing the draft for years. He wrote about 15 drafts of the novel and sent the final manuscript to many publishers. However, he was rejected by most of them. Eventually, ‘Rupa & Co.,’ a publishing house in Old Delhi, accepted his manuscript and asked him to rework on a few things.

The novel was eventually published in 2004 and received instant success. It narrated the story of three engineering students, struggling in their professional and personal lives. The novel sold more than a million copies worldwide. The 2009-released Hindi film ‘3 Idiots’ was loosely based on the novel and went on to become one of the most successful Hindi films of all time.
Excited with the success of his debut novel, Bhagat sat down to write his second novel, titled ‘One Night @ the Call Center.’ It was based on the night-shift work culture at the Indian call centers. The novel, which was published in 2005, went to become yet another major success, selling 50,000 copies in the first 3 days of its release. It became India’s fastest-selling book of its time.

By then, Chetan Bhagat had gained immense confidence about starting a full-time writing career, but he was still not able to take the big risk of quitting his job. His third novel, ‘The 3 Mistakes of My Life,’ was released in 2008 and became a huge success, selling a lakh copies in 3 months. As the book became a bestseller, Bhagat also became the most successful English-language writer in India. ‘The 3 Mistakes of My Life’ became the inspiration for the Hindi film ‘Kai Po Che!,’ which was hugely successful.

In 2009, he published a semi-autobiographical novel titled ‘2 States,’ which was partly based on his real-life story of falling in love with a South Indian woman and the troubles that followed. The novel became a massive success both critically and commercially and was later turned into a film of the same name, which, too, was a huge success.
All his latter novels, such as ‘Revolution 2020’, ‘Half Girlfriend,’ and ‘One Indian Girl,’ attained immense commercial success. However, many critics observed that he was running out of honest stories to tell and was writing more of “formulaic” stories, with film adaptations in mind. Due to this reason, he was criticized a lot, even by the masses.
By the time he released his 2018 novel ‘The Girl in Room 105,’ the enthusiasm about him among his readers had significantly reduced. However, the novel became a big success.
Chetan Bhagat is also known as a “celebrity author,” as he is always in the limelight. He is active on social media and constantly expresses his social and political views. He has also been criticized many times for the political stands he takes.

Chetan Bhagat was a celebrity judge on a dance reality show titled ‘Nach Baliye,’ a career move that was mocked by his critics, as he had no relation or understanding of dance.

He has also worked on many Hindi film screenplays, such as those of ‘Hello’ and ‘Kai Po Che!,’ which were based on his novels.
Family & Personal Life
Chetan Bhagat constantly uses father–son issues as a theme in his works, more clearly seen in ‘2 States,’ which was inspired by his personal life. However, he once said that using this theme constantly in his novels had helped mend his relationship with his father.

Chetan Bhagat met Anusha Suryanarayanan while studying at ‘IIM.’ The couple fell in love and married in 1998. The couple have two sons: twin boys, Ishaan and Shyam Bhagat. The film ‘2 States’ was based on his real-life love story.

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