About Chetan Bhagat – India’s Biggest-Selling English-Language Author

Chetan Bhagat

Renu Dahiya posted on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

The most successful Indian Author Chetan Bhagat has penned several novels that hit the market with massive success both critically and commercially. He is considered a youth icon rather than just a novelist or writer. Chetan is also a popular newspaper columnist and writes columns for many leading newspapers. For him, novels are entertainment tools through which he expresses his opinions and views about the youth and society. Apart from being a successful novelist, Chetan is also a motivational speaker and has given many motivational speeches at various organizations and colleges. 

In 2008, The New York Times (US) published one article on him with the headline “An Investment Banker Finds Fame Off The Books”. It is true, his books have remained bestsellers since their date of release. Several novels of Chetan have been adapted into successful Bollywood feature films. He has always been in the limelight and is also known as a “celebrity author”. He constantly expresses his social and political views on social media accounts. 

Let’s know more about the family, childhood, career, and achievements of the most famous Indian author/novelist – Chetan Bhagat.  

Basic Details of Chetan Bhagat

Real NameChetan Prakash Bhagat
ProfessionAuthor, Columnist, Motivational Speaker, Screenwriter
Date of Birth22 April 1974
Age (as of 2022)48 Years
BirthplaceNew Delhi, India
Chetan Bhagat Height168 cm (5’6”)
Weight64 Kg (141lbs)
Marital StatusMarried
Wife/SpouseAnusha Suryanarayanan Bhagat (m.1998-Present)
HobbiesReading, Traveling, Playing the Piano

Chetan Bhagat – Family

Chetan Bhagat was born in New Delhi in a middle-class Punjabi family on 22 April 1974. His father worked in the Indian Army and his mother was a government employee in the agricultural department. He has one younger brother Ketan Bhagat who is a famous anchor and novelist. 

Chetan married the love of his life Anusha Suryanarayanan in the year 1998. He met her during their college days at IIM. One of his novels “2 States” was based on his real-life love story. The couple has two twin sons named Shyam Bhagat and Ishaan Bhagat. 

Chetan Bhagat – Childhood

Chetan was raised in Naraina Vihar, West Delhi, and the major part of his education was done in Delhi. He studied in local Delhi schools and later joined the “Army Public School” on Dhaula Kuan, Delhi. He was a bright and intelligent student and scored high grades consistently. His love for writing began during his high-school years. He used to write jokes for the literary magazine of his school and seeing his name printed on the magazine as a writer gave him intense pleasure. This encouraged him to write more in the coming years. 

After completing high school, Chetan joined the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi. He graduated with a BTech-Mechanical Engineering degree in the year 1995. For his MBA degree, he joined the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad. During these days, he started writing more and wanted to become a full-time writer. But, Chetan got placed from IIM and shifted to Hong Kong with his family. 

Career Highlights of Famous Indian Author Chetan Bhagat

As An Investment Banker

  • Chetan Bhagat completed his graduation in the year 1997 and the same year he got placed with one of Asia’s biggest investment banks ‘Peregrine Investments Holdings’. For the same, he shifted to Hong Kong with his family. He worked for almost six months in this organization.
  • In 1998, he secured a job in one of the biggest investment banks in the world ‘Goldman Sachs’. Chetan never liked his job due to his passion for writing and also he didn’t like his boss there. But, he had no other lucrative opportunity so he decided to continue his job at the bank.
  • He devoted many years to his first novel ‘Five Point Someone’ along with his job at ‘Goldman Sachs’. After a few years, he quit his job for a better opportunity. 
  • In the mid-2000s, he joined ‘Deutsche Bank’ and got promoted as Vice President of the bank in 2006. By this period, he had already become a bestselling author in India with the huge success of his two novels ‘Five Point Someone’ and ‘One Night At A Call Center’.
  • Despite the fact that he gained lots of fame through his writing, he decided not to rely on full-time writing as he was not making enough money from his novels. But, finally, he moved back to India in March 2008 after working for almost 10 years in Hong Kong. He decided to quit his investment-banking job because he started making a lot of money through his novels within a few months. 
  • Chetan has always maintained a low profile at his job in banks as he did not tell any of his colleagues about his success as an author in India.

Chetan Bhagat’s Books

  • Chetan Bhagat started working on his first novel “Five Point Someone” when he was working in Hong Kong at the bank “Goldman Sachs” i.e. in the early 2000s. He wrote and polished the draft for many years to make his debut novel way more than perfect. In one interview, he said he wrote about 15 drafts of the novel and also he sent the final manuscript to many publishers. His novel was rejected by most of them. Finally, the manuscript was accepted by a publishing house in Old Delhi  ‘Rupa & Co.’.
  • His debut novel ‘Five Point Someone’ was published in the year 2004 and this very first venture took him to the peaks of fame and popularity. This novel narrated the story of three IIT students who consider themselves to be below-average students than all the other students in IIT. This story was adopted by film director Rajkumar Hirani into a film and starred famous Indian stars Aamir Khan, Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, and Kareena Kapoor. The movie “3 Idiots” was released in the year 2009 and become one of the most successful Hindi movies of all time. 
  • After the huge success of his first novel, he started working on his second book “One Night At A Call Center” which was published in the year 2005. The novel went on to become yet another major success. In the first 3 days of its release, almost 50,000 copies were sold. This novel became India’s fastest-selling book of its time. The book was also made into a movie and was named ‘Hello’ and he himself wrote the script. 
  • Chetan had gained enough confidence in his writing that he decided to make writing a full-time career. Bhagat’s third novel “The 3 Mistakes of My Life” which was released in the year 2008 also became a huge success. This novel became a bestseller and Chetan also became the most successful English-Language writer in India. Bollywood hit “Kai Po Che” is based on this novel. 
  • Chetan Bhagat’s fourth novel ‘2 States’, published in 2009, was partially based on his real-life love story that how he fell in love with a South Indian girl and the troubles he faced in his love life. The book turned into a movie “2 States” starring Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt and became a massive success. 
  • Chetan’s later novels named “Revolution 2020”, “Half Girlfriend” and “One Indian Girl” gained huge critical and commercial success. But, he was criticized by the masses a lot as many critics observed that he was focusing more on “formulaic” stories and running out of honest stories. 
  • The craze and enthusiasm about him among his readers had significantly reduced. Despite this, his novel “The Girl in Room 105”, published in 2018, became a big success. Recently, his new novel “400 Days” was published in October 2021. 
  • Chetan was also a celebrity judge on a dance reality show named “Nach Baliye”. 

Achievements of Chetan Bhagat

  • Chetan Bhagat was recognized by IIM Ahmadabad as “The best outgoing student” in 1997. 
  • Chetan won the Society Young Achiever’s Award in 2000.
  • He won the Publisher’s Recognition Award in 2005.
  • He merited a place in the Time Magazine’s list of World’s 100 Most Influential People” in 2010.
  • In 2014, he won Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay for the Bollywood movie “Kai Po Che”.
  • Chetan won CNN-IBN Award in the field of Entertainment in the year 2014. 
  • Most of his books are bestsellers and adapted into successful Bollywood films – Five Point Someone (2004) – 3 Idiots, One Night At A Call Center (2005) – Hello, The 3 Mistakes Of My Life (2008) – Kai Po Che, 2 States book (2009) – 2 States.

10 Lesser Known Facts About Chetan Bhagat

  1. Indian Novelist Chetan Bhagat charges INR 7-8 Lakh per motivational speech.
  2. Chetan was one of the screenwriters of Indian Actor Salman Khan starrer Bollywood movie Kick (2014).
  3. He is also a popular newspaper columnist, he has written many columns for English and Hindi newspapers like The Times of India, Hindustan Times, and Dainik Bhaskar.
  4. On May 10, 2010, Chetan merited a place in Time magazine’s – The 100 Most Influential People in the World under the “Artists” category.
  5. A leading American daily, The New York Times cited Chetan Bhagat as “the biggest-selling English-language novelist in India’s history” in the year 2008.
  6. Chetan considers his book “2 States”, as his real-life love story. He belongs to an Indian Punjabi family and his wife, Anusha, is from the southern part of the country, who fell in love with him during the IIM days. 
  7. Chetan has worked for almost a decade in banks in Hong Kong.
  8. Chetan felt that there was something wrong or missing in his life when he was in Hong Kong, and thus to fill this gap he started devoting more of his time to his hobby of writing. 
  9. He gave almost 27 interviews as a part of the selection process when he got the job of Investment Banker in a company ‘Goldman Sachs’. 
  10.  In his expensive car collection, he has Ford Endeavour. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many copies has Chetan Bhagat sold?

A: Chetan is the best-selling author in India, and approximately eight million copies of his books have been sold by far.

Q: Who is Chetan Bhagat s wife?

A: Anusha Suryanarayanan Bhagat is the wife of Indian author Chetan Bhagat. The couple got married in the year 1998.

Q: Is the 2 States book based on a real story of Chetan Bhagat?

A: 2 States novel written by Chetan Bhagat is inspired by his real-life story which depicts his love story with his wife during their college days.

Q: What is the net worth of Chetan Bhagat?

A: Chetan is one of the wealthiest authors in India. According to some sources, his net worth is $50 Million. He is also known as one of the highest-paid authors.

That’s almost everything we have about India’s best Author Chetan Bhagat’s personal and professional life. 

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About Renu Dahiya | View Posts

Renu Dahiya is a passionate writer who worships her profession. Her love for writing has encouraged her to pursue her career as a writer. Her friends call her a “travel worm” and always come to her to know some interesting traveling tips and destinations. Renu is a repository of knowledge about traveling who knows which place should be visited in which season. Oh yes, she is insanely in love with dancing too. Writer, traveler and dancer, a perfect combination! Without a doubt, she is a complete package.

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  1. Muthu says:

    Very well

    1. Renu Dahiya says:

      Hello Muthu ji,

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  2. Ramesh Patel says:

    It would be good if another deserving poor student studies in an institute like IIM