Chetan Bhagat, a name that needs no introduction in the world of contemporary Indian literature, is renowned for his impactful writing, motivational speeches, and now his presence on YouTube. With numerous bestsellers and successful film adaptations under his belt, he has left an indelible mark on Indian literature and entertainment. Let's dive into the life and career of this multifaceted personality.
Chetan Bhagat was born on April 22, 1974, and raised in a traditional Punjabi Hindu family. His father served as a lieutenant colonel in the Indian Army, and his mother was a scientist at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi. His academic journey began at the Army Public School in Dhaula Kuan.
Bhagat's love for writing emerged during his school years, where he contributed articles to his school's literary magazine. Seeing his name in print as a writer inspired him to continue honing his writing skills.
After completing his schooling, Chetan pursued a B.Tech. degree in Mechanical Engineering at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, graduating in 1995. Following that, he earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a focus on marketing from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, in 1997. In recognition of his achievements, IIMA honoured him with the "Young Alumni Achiever's Award 2018" in the Art & Entertainment category.
Chetan Bhagat's career began with a job in investment banking. After completing his MBA in 1997, he started his professional journey with Peregrine Investments Holdings in Canada, where he was placed through campus recruitment. However, the company ceased its operations in 1998, leading to the loss of his job. Bhagat's next venture was with Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong as an investment banker.
It was during his time at Goldman Sachs that Chetan Bhagat began drafting his first novel, "Five Point Someone." He spent most of his office hours working on this manuscript, and after two years, he completed it. While working at Goldman Sachs, he was simultaneously nurturing his passion for writing.
In 2004, Rupa Publications accepted Bhagat's manuscript for "Five Point Someone" and published the book. This novel tells the story of three IIT students who believe they are mediocre among their peers. "Five Point Someone" became a massive success and was later adapted into the iconic Bollywood film "3 Idiots."
Chetan Bhagat's second novel, "One Night @ the Call Center," published in 2005, was equally well-received. It became India's fastest-selling book at the time. The book was also adapted into a movie named "Hello," for which Bhagat co-wrote the script.
His third novel, "The 3 Mistakes of My Life," published in 2008, was another bestseller and formed the basis for the Bollywood film "Kai Po Che."
Continuing his writing career, Bhagat's "2 States" was inspired by his own love story, detailing the challenges he faced in his relationship with a South Indian girl. The novel was adapted into a successful film of the same name.
Chetan Bhagat's subsequent novels, including "Revolution 2020," "Half Girlfriend," and "One Indian Girl," also achieved commercial success and cemented his position as one of India's most influential authors.
Chetan Bhagat is not limited to the world of literature alone. He ventured into television as a celebrity judge on the dance reality show "Nach Baliye" Season 7, alongside Marzi Pestonji and Preity Zinta.
In the realm of screenwriting, Bhagat was one of the four screenplay writers for "Kai Po Che," based on his novel "The 3 Mistakes of My Life." The film was a commercial success and won the Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay.
Bhagat's engagement in the web series also gained recognition, especially his role in Netflix's "Decoupled," in which he plays himself as India's bestselling author and the rival of the show's lead character, portrayed by R. Madhavan.
In recent years, Chetan Bhagat has expanded his digital presence by becoming a YouTuber. He shares motivational tips with young Indians on his YouTube channel, offering valuable insights for personal growth. His podcast show, "Deeptalk with Chetan Bhagat," features conversations with accomplished guests discussing their journeys to success.
Chetan Bhagat is a prolific newspaper columnist, penning op-ed columns for both English and Hindi newspapers, including the Times of India and Dainik Bhaskar. His columns cover a wide range of topics, including youth issues, national development, education, society, and the economy.
Chetan Bhagat's contributions to literature and entertainment have been recognised with numerous awards and accolades. He was awarded the Society Young Achiever's Award in 2000 and the Publisher's Recognition Award in 2005.
Notably, Bhagat was featured on Time magazine's list of the "World's 100 Most Influential People" in the Artists category in 2010. His impactful work and unique storytelling have left an indelible mark on India's literary landscape.
In 1998, Chetan Bhagat tied the knot with Anusha Suryanarayan. Their love story served as the inspiration for his novel "2 States." The couple has twin sons named Shyam Bhagat and Ishaan Bhagat.
Chetan Bhagat's career trajectory, from investment banking to becoming an influential author, screenwriter, television personality, and YouTuber, demonstrates his versatility and unwavering commitment to pursuing his passions. His ability to connect with and inspire youth, along with his relatable storytelling, has made him a cherished figure in India's literary and entertainment landscape. With every new project, he continues to captivate and motivate audiences, proving that his influence goes far beyond the written word.