Anand was originally supposed to star actors Kishore Kumar and Mehmood in lead roles. Film expert and musicologist Rajesh Subramanian says that Mukherjee shot the film in 28 days. The screenplay of Anand was written by Gulzar (who also wrote dialogues and lyrics of a few songs), Bimal Dutt, D.N. Mukherjee and Hrishikesh Mukherjee.
The character of Anand was inspired by Raj Kapoor, who used to call Mukherjee "Babu Moshay". It is believed that Mukherjee wrote the film when once Kapoor was seriously ill and Mukherjee thought that he may die. The film was dedicated to Kapoor and the people of Bombay. Later, Anand was remade in Malayalam, with the name Chitrashalabham, starring Jayaram and Biju Menon.