Chetan Bhagat

Chetan Prakash Bhagat[1] (born 22 April 1974)[2] is an Indian author and columnist. He was included in Time magazine's list of World's 100 Most Influential People in 2010.[3]

Chetan Bhagat
Bhagat in 2012
Bhagat in 2012
BornChetan Prakash Bhagat
(1974-04-22) 22 April 1974 (age 46)
Delhi, India
LanguageEnglish, Hindi
EducationIndian Institute of Technology, Delhi (B.Tech)
Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (M.B.A)
Genreromance, realistic fiction, non-fiction
Notable worksFive Point Someone, 2 States: The Story of My Marriage, The 3 Mistakes of My Life, Half Girlfriend

Bhagat graduated in mechanical engineering at IIT Delhi and completed an MBA at IIM Ahmedabad. He started his career as an investment banker, but left it after a few years to pursue his passion in writing. He has written eight novels and three non-fiction books. His first novel, Five Point Someone, was published in 2004. His novels have been listed as bestsellers.

Five of Chetan Bhagat's novels have been adapted into Bollywood films like Hello in 2008 (based on One Night @ the Call Center), 3 Idiots in 2009 (based on Five Point Someone), Kai Po Che! in 2013 (based on The 3 Mistakes of My Life); 2 States in 2014 (based on his novel of the same name) and Half Girlfriend in 2017 (based on his novel of the same name). Bhagat has also written the scripts for Bollywood films like Kick in 2014 and adapted his stories for the movies Kai Po Che! and Half Girlfriend.[4] Bhagat won the Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay for Kai Po Che! at the 59th Filmfare Awards in 2014.[5]

Bhagat is often invited to speak at various institutes and organisations in India and abroad. He is also active on social media. He also writes op-ed columns for English and Hindi newspapers, including The Guardian, The Times of India and Dainik Bhaskar, focusing on youth, career, leadership, political issues and current affairs.

Early lifeEdit

Chetan Bhagat grew up in Naraina Vihar, West Delhi in a traditional middle class Hindu family. His father served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Army and mother worked in a government job in the agriculture department. He was schooled at The Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan.[6] He claims to have been an average student at the age of 15.[7][8]

In Class V, Bhagat submitted a small joke for his school magazine, after being forced to do so by his teacher. Seeing his name in print greatly impressed him.[9]

Bhagat graduated with a BTech degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 1995. He stayed in IIT Delhi's Kumaon Hostel in Room No NB 24, which is now considered lucky by hostellers as it is believed that two other published authors, besides Bhagat had stayed in the same room.[10]

Bhagat then went on to do MBA in Marketing from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) and graduated in 1997 with an MBA degree. He was awarded as the "Best Outgoing Student" of his batch.[11][12] In June 2018, IIMA awarded him the "Young Alumni Achiever’s Awards 2018" in the Art & Entertainment category.[13]


After graduating with an MBA in 1997, Bhagat was placed through his campus at Peregrine Investments Holdings in Hong Kong. However, Bhagat lost this job within six months as the company closed its operations in 1998. His next banking job was as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs at their Hong Kong office. Despite being unhappy with his boss at the bank, he stayed on due to lack of options. Bhagat kept this boss in his mind when he characterised the villain in his second novel One Night @ the Call Center.[14] Bhagat spent most of his time at the Goldman Sachs office in writing, completing and revising drafts of his first novel, Five Point Someone. He worked on 15 drafts of the manuscript. He kept contacting publishers and was rejected. After two years, Rupa Publications accepted his manuscript and offered to publish it after some feedback. After the required changes were made, the novel Five Point Someone was finally published in 2004, when it was declared to be a best-seller.

Bhagat then quit Goldman Sachs and joined Deutsche Bank. By 2006, he was vice-president, Strategic Investment Group, Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong.[15] His second novel, One Night @ the Call Center, was published in 2005 and became a best-seller. The entire print-run of 50,000 copies of the book was sold within three days, setting a record for India's fastest-selling book. In March 2008, Bhagat shifted back to India with his wife and three-year-old twin sons after spending more than 10 years in Hong Kong. He joined as director in Deutsche Bank's distressed-assets team in Kodak House, Mumbai. The same year his third novel, The 3 Mistakes of My Life, was published and sold five lakh copies in three months.

Bhagat continued to work as an investment banker in 2008 in Deutsche Bank, Mumbai, putting in 12 hours in the office. His day job would keep him busy analysing the financial reports of loss-making companies and bad loan portfolios of other banks that Deutsche Bank may eventually acquire. He kept a low profile in the bank despite having three best-sellers to his credit. Neither the head of corporate communications in the bank, nor the HR head were aware that Bhagat worked with them in their Mumbai office.[14]

By August 2008, Bhagat was earning as much from his writing, as he was from his bank job.[citation needed] He had three successful best-seller novels and two movies based on his novels were being shot. It was in 2009 that Bhagat quit his international investment banking career to devote full-time to writing.[16]

Bhagat considers writing to be a flexible career which "you can do... anywhere" He accepts the fact that his personal life suffers at times because of his professional commitments.[17] The protagonist of all his novels is named after Krishna.[18]


Bhagat has also taken steps in Bollywood by writing dialogues and screenplays for Bollywood films based on his novels and also for a film not based on his novel. Five of his novels have been adapted into movies.

For the 2008 film Hello, based on his novel One Night @ the Call Center, Bhagat received two film credits — 'Additional dialogue' and 'Book'.

Regarding the film 3 Idiots released in 2009 (based on his novel Five Point Someone), Bhagat alleged that the makers of the film had "played" with him and had not given him adequate credit. His name came in the end credits or rolling credits of the film. He claimed that 70% of the film was based on his book, while he had been initially informed that only 2-5% of the film followed the book's story.[19] Bhagat later ended the debate by claiming to have moved on.[20][better source needed]

For the film Kai Po Che!' (2013) based on his novel The 3 Mistakes of My Life, Bhagat was one of the four screenplay writers for the film and was closely involved in the adaptation of the book for the film.[21] Bhagat's then eight-year-old son Ishaan made his acting debut in the film.[22] It took Bhagat two years to write the screenplay.[23] The film was a commercial success and Bhagat along with Pubali Chaudri, Supratik Sen and Abhishek Kapoor won the Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay for Kai Po Che! at the 59th Filmfare Awards.

Bhagat says that his "greatest inspiration is Gulzar, an author who has done films scripts as well."[14]


Bhagat was referred to as "the biggest-selling English-language novelist ever in India" according to The New York Times.[24] However, he has been criticised for his writing skills.[25] He has even been accused of plagiarism for his novel One Indian Girl, which he denied.[26][27]

In April 2017, the University of Delhi's decision to include Bhagat's novel Five Point Someone as part of the English Literature syllabus was criticised.[28][29][30] In September 2017 the University announced that they had kept this decision on hold.[31][32]




Awards and accoladesEdit

  • Featured on Time magazine's list of World's 100 Most Influential People of 2010 in the Artists category[3]
  • Listed '47' among the "100 Most Creative People 2011" by the Fast Company American business magazine and business media brand[33]
  • Won the "CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2014" award in the Entertainment category[34][35]
  • Ranked No. 82 on the 2017 Forbes India Celebrity 100 list[36]


  1. ^ "Trial court told to hear Chetan Bhagat's plea in plagiarism case". The New Indian Express. 6 May 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  2. ^ Kalita, S. Mitra (17 May 2008). "Chetan Bhagat | The five-point formula: keep it simple". Livemint. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  3. ^ a b "The 2010 TIME 100". Time. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Every time Chetan Bhagat made it to Bollywood – A Bollywood Hit!". The Economic Times. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Filmfare Awards Winners From 1953 to 2020". Filmfare. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  6. ^ "An Interview With Chetan Bhagat". Forbes India. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Chetan Bhagat tweets his CBSE Class 10 mark-sheet – shares how an aggregate 76% cannot define your future". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Marks Don't Matter: Ex IIT, IIM Graduate, Author Chetan Bhagat Shows Class X Marksheet With 76%". The Times of India. 5 August 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  9. ^ "People | Q & A with Chetan Bhagat". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Tale of the lucky hostel room". Hindustan Times. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  11. ^ Desk, India TV News (21 October 2013). "25 best quotes by Chetan Bhagat on career, education, love and success – IndiaTV news". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  12. ^ "The Sunday Tribune – Books". The Tribune. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  13. ^ "HILARIOUS: Here's Chetan Bhagat big takeaway after receiving an award at IIM Ahmedabad". Republic World. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  14. ^ a b c Ganguly, Dibeyendu (22 August 2008). "Chetan Bhagat: Novelist turn rock star". The Economic Times. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  15. ^ "People | Q & A with Chetan Bhagat". Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Chetan Bhagat: From investment banking to Bollywood scripts". DAWN. AFP. 26 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  17. ^ "My wife Anusha was so cute that many guys in campus wanted to try their luck with her: Chetan Bhagat". News18. 17 April 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Janmashtami 2018: Every Chetan Bhagat book is a tribute to Lord Krishna - here's how". DNA India. 3 September 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Chetan Bhagat miffed with 3 Idiots makers". Livemint. 1 January 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Closing Remarks – Chetan Bhagat". Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  21. ^ "Chetan Bhagat talks about Kai Po Che, the film based on his book". The National. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  22. ^ "Chetan Bhagat's son makes movie debut with Kai Po Che!". India Today. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  23. ^ "'Kai Po Che' is a real film without frills: Chetan Bhagat". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  24. ^ Greenlees, Donald (14 March 2008). "Investment banker becomes best-selling author in India". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  25. ^ "Why I gave Chetan Bhagat the 'nastiest review'". Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  26. ^ "Chetan Bhagat accused of plagiarising his latest bestseller, One Indian Girl". Hindustan Times. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  27. ^ "Sales of Chetan Bhagat's 'One Indian Girl' stopped by injunction, on plagiarism charges". Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  28. ^ "Chetan Bhagat's Five Point Someone in Delhi University English literature syllabus". Hindustan Times. 24 April 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  29. ^ "Chetan Bhagat's Five Point Someone To Be Part Of DU's English Literature Syllabus". Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  30. ^ "Five Point Someone in DU syllabus: Let's stop blaming Chetan Bhagat and start rueing the state of Indian readership". The Indian Express. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  31. ^ MP, Team (24 September 2017). "'Five Point Someone' not part of DU curriculum this session". Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  32. ^ Malavikka (25 September 2017). "DU's Proposal To Add 'Five Point Someone' in Curriculum Reconsidered". Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  33. ^ "47. Chetan Bhagat". Fast Company. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  34. ^ "List of winners of Indian of the Year 2014". News18. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  35. ^ "Chetan Bhagat Receives the Indian of the Year Award in the Entertainment Category from IBN". Desimartini. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  36. ^ "Chetan Bhagat: Writing For Millennials". Forbes India. Retrieved 30 May 2020.

External linksEdit