Chetan Bhagat is a famous Indian author.
He is a very successful writer and is well known for his many bestselling books.
Chetan Bhagat was born on 22 April 1974 into a middle class Punjabi family in Naraina Vihar, West Delhi.
He grew up in Naraina Vihar, Delhi.
Currently, Chetan Bhagat lives in Mumbai.
He has a younger brother, Ketan Bhagat.
Both Chetan Bhagat’s parents were government officials.
His father was an Indian army official.
Chetan Bhagat’s mother was an official at the Agricultural Department, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.
A troubled relationship-
His parents had a troubled relationship and they got separated later.
Also, Chetan Bhagat didn’t have a good relationship with his father.
From 1978 to 1991, Chetan Bhagat did all his schooling from Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan.
Even though his father was getting transferred to different places, his parents decided to educate Chetan Bhagat and Ketan Bhagat from the Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan.
Chetan Bhagat was a curious and decent student in school and was good at maths.
But he wasn’t good at sports and was underconfident.
In his tenth grade, Chetan Bhagat scored 76%.
During that time, his future plan was to open a STD booth (telephone booth) and later, expand this business but he never pursued this business.
As a child, Chetan Bhagat was a good entertainer and used to make people laugh.
At that time, little did he know that this trait would later help him to become a good writer.
Preparing for IIT-
While in his 11th class, Chetan Bhagat observed his two school friends preparing for Indian Institute Of Technology (IIT).
His friend, Kanishk had his brother studying at IIT Delhi and once Kanishk took him to the campus of IIT Delhi.
Chetan Bhagat got very impressed by the expansive campus of IIT Delhi and at that moment, he decided to join IIT.
And since then he started preparing for IIT.
Chetan Bhagat used to study daily for around three to four hours for IIT and thanks to his hard work, he finally managed to get a decent rank in the entrance exam.
Only after getting selected to IIT, he gained self-confidence.
On 22 June 1991, the entrance exam results were announced and Chetan Bhagat got a rank of 326.
In 1991, he joined IIT Delhi to study mechanical engineering.
Here, Chetan Bhagat did an internship at Cadbury.
He used to write and direct plays in college.
Chetan Bhagat graduated from IIT in 1995.
Chetan Bhagat felt that mechanical engineering wasn’t much people-oriented and so, after graduating he chose to study Master of Business Administration (MBA).
In 1995, he joined Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) to do MBA in marketing.
Chetan Bhagat graduated from IIM in 1997.
An interesting fact- Falguni Nayar of Nykaa also studied from IIM Ahmedabad.
In IIMA, Chetan Bhagat met his future wife, Anusha and got in a relationship with her.
Prior to meeting Anusha, he faced many breakups and rejections.
They got married in 1998 and this couple is blessed with twin sons, Shyam Bhagat and Ishaan Bhagat.
In March 1997, Chetan Bhagat got placed in Peregrine Investments Holdings in Hong Kong.
He was offered a finance job with a salary of $50,000 per annum.
In June 1997, Chetan Bhagat joined the Peregrine Investments Holdings and here, he chose credit research.
Unfortunately, around December 1997, he lost his job as the Peregrine Investments Holdings got bankrupt thanks to the Asian financial crisis.
Joining Goldman Sachs-
Later, Chetan Bhagat joined Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong as an analyst in the credit group.
He had to attend 27 interviews to get a job at Goldman Sachs.
Much like Chetan Bhagat, his wife Anusha also worked in a bank.
While working as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, he wasn’t happy because of his bad boss.
Also, Chetan Bhagat wasn’t getting promoted and this added to his pain.
To vent out his unhappiness, Chetan Bhagat began writing a book in a little cubicle of Goldman Sachs about his happy days at IIT.
He titled this book as Five Point Someone and in 2002, he started pitching this novel to the publishers.
Nine publishers rejected Chetan Bhagat’s work and this disappointed him very much.
Accepted by Rupa Publications-
Initially, Chetan Bhagat’s book Five Point Someone got rejected by the Rupa Publications.
And someone at Rupa Publications suggested that he make the book more gripping.
So, Chetan Bhagat took the feedback and improved the book and eventually, the Five Point Someone novel got accepted by Rupa and Co., New Delhi.
This book was released on May 17, 2004 and received good feedback from many people.
On October 28, 2005, Chetan Bhagat’s second book, One Night at the Call Centre, was released.
On May 08, 2008, his third book, The 3 Mistakes of My Life was released.
All these books were very well received by many people and with each published book, Chetan Bhagat became increasingly popular.
Later he published many books like-
- 2 States (released on October 08, 2009)
- Revolution 2020 (released on October 07, 2011)
- Half Girlfriend (released on October 01, 2014)
- One Indian Girl (2016)
- The Girl In Room 105 (released on October 9, 2019)
- One Arranged Murder (2020).
All Chetan Bhagat’s books mentioned above are bestsellers and have sold millions of copies.
The 2 States novel is partly based on his love story.
Chetan Bhagat also wrote a few non-fiction books like-
- What Young India Wants (released on August 08, 2012)
- Making India Awesome: New Essays and Columns (released on August 19, 2015)
- India Positive: New Essays and Selected Columns (2019).
His favourite authors are George Orwell and Ernest Hemingway.
Joining Deutsche Bank-
Chetan Bhagat quit his job at Goldman Sachs and joined Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong.
He moved back to India in March 2008 along with his family and started working at Deutsche Bank in Mumbai.
Chetan Bhagat also advised the governments of Thailand and Philippines on maintaining credit ratings.
Quitting his job-
Thanks to the huge success of his third book, The 3 Mistakes of My Life, Chetan Bhagat decided to quit his job and become a full-time writer.
His publisher warned him not to quit his job but he took the leap and quit his lucrative job in 2009.
Then Chetan Bhagat started writing 2 States: The Story of My Marriage novel and this was published on 8 October 2009.
Thanks to the huge success of this novel, he never looked back again.
A beneficial habit-
Initially, Chetan Bhagat was earning very little with his books but the investing habit which he picked up very early saved him.
Also, as his wife was working, this helped him to confidently quit his job.
Best selling novelist-
In 2008, The New York Times mentioned Chetan Bhagat as the biggest-selling English-language novelist in India’s history.
Apart from writing books, he also started writing columns in newspapers like Dainik Bhaskar and Times of India, delivering motivational speeches and participating in TV shows after quitting his job.
Chetan Bhagat writes columns both in English and Hindi.
He is also a screenplay writer and has a YouTube channel by his name.
Thanks to the huge popularity of Chetan Bhagat’s books, many of his books have been adapted into movies.
Those movies are as follows-
- Hello (based on One Night at the Call Centre)
- 3 Idiots (based on Five Point Someone)
- Kai Po Che! (based on The 3 Mistakes of My Life)
- 2 States (based on 2 States: The Story of My Marriage)
- Half Girlfriend (based on his Half Girlfriend novel).
Chetan Bhagat also wrote the script for the Kick film.
Awards and recognition-
Chetan Bhagat won many awards like-
- Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay for Kai Po Che! In 2014.
- CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2014.
- Young Alumni Achiever’s Awards 2018 by IIMA in 2018.
- Chetan Bhagat has also been featured on Time magazine’s list of World’s 100 Most Influential People of 2010 in the Artists category, 100 Most Creative People 2011 by the Fast Company and Forbes India Celebrity 100 list in 2017.
So, how are you inspired by the success story of Chetan Bhagat?
Tell me in the comment section below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How did Chetan Bhagat start writing?
Chetan Bhagat started writing while working at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong to ease his mind from the work pressure.
Why is Chetan Bhagat famous?
Chetan Bhagat is a very famous author because all his books are in simple English which connect very well with the Indian youth.
Also, many of his books have been made into Bollywood movies and this made him even more popular.
Is 2 States a real story of Chetan Bhagat?
Yes, 2 States is mostly the real story of Chetan Bhagat.
2 States doesn’t completely depict his entire personal story to protect his and his family’s privacy.
Is Chetan Bhagat a Punjabi?
Yes, Chetan Bhagat is a Punjabi as he was born in a Punjabi family.
What was Chetan Bhagat’s JEE rank?
In 1991, Chetan Bhagat got a rank of 326.
Featured Image credit: http://www.chetanbhagat.com/press/