Penning Her Success Story

Dec/25/2022 / by Swarnendu Biswas
Anuja Chauhan
Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

Anuja Chauhan is a popular Indian novelist, and screen writer and an advertising professional. She is known for her novels The Zoya Factor (2008), Battle for Bittora (2010), Those Pricey Thakur Girls (2013), The House That BJ Built (2015), Baaz(2017) and Club You To Death (2021). She has explored the rom-com genre and has written a taut thriller named Baaz(2017) and a murder mystery named Club You To Death.

She was born in Uttar Pradesh state of India, on 17th September 1970. The age of Anuja Chauhan is 51 years. She is the youngest of the four sisters. Her father used to serve in the Indian Army. While exploring about Anuja Chauhan we can easily come to know that she did her graduation from Miranda House, a prestigious college under Delhi University, and she has a post-graduate diploma in mass communication from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, located in Melbourne, Australia.

Making Hit Campaigns

Anuja began her career in advertising with a renowned advertising agency named J. Walter Thompson (JWT), way back in 1993. She had a fruitful and creative innings in the world of advertising. During her tenure as an advertising professional she worked with renowned national and international brands like PepsiKurkure, Nokia and Mountain Dew among others. Anuja Chauhan is credited for creating Pepsi’s famous campaign in India: ‘Nothing official about it’, and for enduringly popular taglines like Yeh Dil Maange More(Pepsi).  Other popular taglines she worked on includes Darr ke aage jeet hai (Mountain Dew) and Tedha hai par mera hai(Kurkure) among others.

It should be highlighted in any good biography of Anuja Chauhan that she rose to great heights in the profession of advertising. By 2003, the then 33-year-old Anuja became one of the youngest Vice-presidents in JWT.

Cricket and Romance

As an author Anuja Chauhan has attained nationwide fame in India, within a short time. After her debut novel The Zoya Factor became a bestseller, she resigned from JWT India in 2010 to pursue her new-found career in creative writing. At that time she was the Vice-president and Executive Creative Director of JWT India. However, even after resigning from JWT, she worked as advertising consultant for a few select clients.

Her debut novel The Zoya Factor has setting in cricket, which is one of the two obsessions of post-modern India, the other being Bollywood. It is about a young woman named Zoya Singh Solanki who gets to meet the Indian cricket team through her advertising job and eventually becomes a lucky mascot for the team for the 2011 Cricket World Cup

Anuja’s close association with cricket advertising probably contributed to the success of the novel. Her authenticity of Hinglish laced dialogues and depth of characters in the book generated interest among the audience and critics. Her debut novel, which can be described as a sports drama weaved in a rom com, was adopted into a film of the same name in 2019. Anuja also wrote additional dialogues for the film. The film unfortunately was a box office disaster and got mixed reviews by critics in India.

Thakur Girls, Patriotism and a Whodunit

The next book of Anuja Chauhan is Battle for Bittora which got the critics’ praise from many of India’s reputed publications like India Today, Outlook, The Week and Tehelka.

Another of her much talked about novel is Those Pricey Thakur Girls, which is set in the 1980s India. It is the first in her series of novels about the fictional Thakurs of Hailey Road; an economically privileged Rajput family comprising Justice Laxmi Narayan Thakur and his wife Mamta and their alphabetically named daughters. The book, by the author’s admission, is the most ‘autobiographical’ of all her books till now and it took inspiration from her own upbringing.

The book initially received positive reviews by and large, across India’s mainstream publications. Mint described her writing style “as a mix of wit and colloquial exuberance” and bombastically stated that she is the “only Indian writer of popular fiction really worth buying.”  India Today stated that “beneath the bubble and froth of this delightful novel, lies the starker reality of Delhi life.”

The book was adopted to a romantic comedy drama web series in Hindi named Dil Bekaraar, which was directed by Habib Faisal. It is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar channel.

Baaz is a tale of love, courage and war set in 1971 at a fictitious air base. Its filming rights have been purchased by Yash Raj Films and we can expect to see a movie adaption of the novel soon.

Her latest book Club You To Death is her first murder mystery, which is inspired by Agatha Christie’s whodunit novels. In July of the last year, Dinesh Vijan who has several hit Hindi films behind his name, acquired the rights to make a film version of the bestselling novel, which explores the mystery behind the apparently accidental death of a personal trainer.

Sundry Snippets

Besides her books, Anuja Chauhan had also written a screenplay for a Hindi film and is engaged in writing two more screenplays.

In 2017, Anuja won the Femina Women Achievers Award, in the Literary Contribution category and in the following year, she was awarded by the FICCI Ladies Organization for her contribution to literature.

According to the approximate net worth of Anuja Chauhan is 1.5 million USD.


When did Anuja Chauhan start her career?

She began her career in advertising in 1993 and her literary career began in 2008.

How many books have Anuja Chauhan written?

She has written six books so far.

Which is Anuja Chauhan’s best book?

It is hard to tell which is her best book. It largely depends on readers’ perspective. Her books are popular and they don’t have any significant literary merit.

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