How Chetan Bhagat Became a Writer from Investment Banker?

Chetan Bhagat is a columnist, public speaker, and screenplay writer and has worked on 12 amazing books, including 5 Point Someone, 2 States, and the 3 Mistakes of My Life. He was an investment banker for 13 years before a full-time writer.

By Aashi Jain Jun 10 2021 6:11PM 8117 Read
Fictional Novelist Chetan Bhagat : Inspiration for the Indian Youth

Chetan Bhagat is the man who provided India with the stories to fantasize about and became the bestselling author of contemporary modern India. Not only an author, but Bhagat is also a columnist, public speaker, and screenplay writer and has worked on 12 amazing books, including books like 5 Point Someone, 2 States, and the 3 Mistakes of My Life. He has inspired a lot of Indian youth through his novels and motivational speaking, giving him the title of the youth icon of India.

Here in this article, we will dive deep into his life & try to understand his journey from a conscious state.

Chetan Bhagat : Key Stats

  • Occupation : Author & Columnist
  • Born : 22nd April 1974
  • Age : 47 Years old
  • Years active : 2004 to present
  • Genre : Romance, realistic fiction, non-fiction
  • Language : Hindi & English
  • Residence : New Delhi, India

Chetan Bhagat : Childhood & Education

  • Childhood Bhagat was born and brought up in Delhi by a middle-class Punjabi family on 22nd April 1974. Bhagat’s father was a lieutenant colonel in the Indian army, while his mother worked for the government’s agriculture department. Since his childhood, he has been an average student in academics.
  • Education He went to study at Army Public School situated in Dhaula Kuan, and after his schooling; he went to attend the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-Delhi). He graduated with a BTech degree in Mechanical Engineering from IIT-Delhi in 1995. He then went for his master’s degree in Business Administration in Marketing from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad (IIMA), completing it in 1997.

Chetan Bhagat : Career Timeline

  • 1997 - 2006 Peregrine Investments Holdings
    • After completing his master’s degree in 1997, Bhagat got a placement through his campus at Peregrine Investments Holdings in Hong Kong. He worked for another 6 months until the company was closed in 1998.
    Goldman Sachs
    • After some time, he got a job as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs at their Hong Kong office and continued to work there even after he was dissatisfied with his boss.
    • Bhagat confessed that the villain of his second novel, ‘One Night @ the Call Centre’, was inspired by his boss’s behavior.
    • He used to spend all his day at the Goldman Sachs office writing and drafting his first-ever novel, ‘Five Point Someone.’ Rupa Publications published his novel after 2 years.
    • Chetan Bhagat left Goldman Sachs after a short time and joined Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong, where he rose through the ranks to Vice-President of Strategic Investment Group in 2006.
    • His second novel, One Night @ the Call Centre, was published in 2005 and became a best seller.
  • 2008 - Present Deutsche Bank
    • In 2008, Chetan Bhagat returned to India with his wife and his twin sons and joined Deutsche Bank’s distressed assets team in Kodak House as a director.
    Full-Time Writer
    • In 2008, his third novel, ‘The 3 Mistakes of My Life’, was also published, and he ended up selling 500,000 copies in 3 months.
    • He became a full-time writer in 2009 after quitting his banking job and focusing entirely on his writing career.

Chetan Bhagat : Novels

Chetan Bhagat has authored many novels, including fictional and non-fictional novels.

  • List of Fictional Novels
    • Five Point Someone (2004)
    • One Night @ the Call Centre (2005)
    • The 3 Mistakes of My Life (2008)
    • 2 States (2009)
    • Revolution 2020 (2011)
    • Half Girlfriend (2014)
    • One Indian Girl (2016)
    • The Girl in Room 105 (2018)
    • One Arranged Murder (2020)
  • List of Non-fictional Novels
    • What young India Wants (2012)
    • Making India Awesome (2015)
    • India Positive (2019)

Chetan Bhagat : Motivational Speaking

Bhagat is quite a speaker and has motivated the youth of India with his words time and again. He is a popular speaker and has spoken at more than 300 organizations in 50 cities worldwide.

Chetan Bhagat : Screenplay Writer

Bhagat was one of the four screenplay writers in the Bollywood movie ‘Kai Po Che’, released in 2013, based on his novel. Bhagat won the Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay for Kai Po Che and the other three screenplay writers. He also scripted movies like 2 States (2014), Kick (2015), and Half Girlfriend (2017).

Chetan Bhagat : Movies on Novels

Chetan Bhagat’s 5 novels were adopted as Bollywood movies:

  • The Bollywood film Hello was based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel One Night @ the Call Center
  • The Bollywood film 3 Idiots was based on Bhagat’s novel Five Point Someone
  • The Bollywood film Kai Po Che was based on Bhagat’s novel The 3 Mistakes of My Life
  • The Bollywood film 2 States was based on Bhagat’s novel 2 States
  • The Bollywood film Half Girlfriend was based on Bhagat’s novel Half Girlfriend

Chetan Bhagat : Criticism & Controversies

  • Chetan Bhagat is an author who is very famous among the young and, despite that, has been trolled a lot for his writings. According to people, as the curve of publishing books went up, the quality of the novels went down.
  • A Bangalore-based author, Avnita Bajpai, sued Chetan Bhagat for plagiarizing his novel One Indian Girl, which she claimed was copied from one of her stories.
  • Bhagat was also sued by the scion of the former princely state of Dumraon in Bihar for portraying male members of a royal family as alcoholics and gamblers.
  • The University of Delhi, in 2017, decided to include Bhagat’s novel Five Point Someone as a part of the English Literature syllabus, but the decision was criticized and put on hold.
  • Sweta Kausal from Hindustan Times wrote a column requesting Chetan Bhagat to give up writing books and just focus on sensible writing.
  • The 2009 Bollywood film 3 Idiots was based on Bhagat’s novel Five Point Someone, but Bhagat was not given any credit for the same, and thus, Bhagat sued the makers for not giving him adequate credit.

Chetan Bhagat : Personal Life

  • Family Bhagat has got a full-fledged family, including his parents and a brother who is also a novelist. He married Anusha Suryanaryanan in 1999 and is a father to two twin boys, Ishaan and Shyam Bhagat.
  • Love Story: 2 States Inspired Chetan Bhagat’s love story is quite similar to his novel 2 States. He met Anusha at IIM Ahmedabad in 1995, and they slowly started to fall for each other. Since then, they have lived their life with each other and married in 1999. Although their parents first objected to their marriage since they were from different castes, their parents finally caved in and wedded them.
  • Interests He states that his favorite writers are Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, and Charles Dickens. He is also fond of playing the piano and traveling.

Chetan Bhagat : Awards and Titles

  • In the category of Artists, Bhagat was included in Time magazine’s list of the World’s 100 Most Influential People of 2010.
  • Ranked # 47 among the 100 Most Creative People of 2011 by the Fast Company American Business magazine and business media brand
  • In the field of entertainment, he won the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2014 Award.
  • Ranked # 82 on the 2017 Forbes India Celebrity 100 list

Larger than Life : Chetan Bhagat

Converting our fantasies into fictional novels, Bhagat has been able to touch many lives. Chetan Bhagat, despite being chastised for his writing abilities, is a hero to many people and has continued to flourish as a writer and influencer. Through his books, he has always had a vision of making young people follow the right path.

Aashi Jain
Aashi Jain View More Posts

I've completed my graduation and will be pursuing a master's degree in a couple of months. I've developed an immense interest in the field of content writing and gained experience by interning with companies. I am an ambitious person and look forward to living an independent life.

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