Gautam Thapar, a prominent figure in India's corporate landscape, has made significant contributions to the business world, leading the Avantha Group and leaving an indelible mark on various industries.
Born on December 7, 1960, Gautam Thapar's journey from humble beginnings to becoming the Chairman of Avantha Group is a story of determination and resilience.
Gautam Thapar belongs to the illustrious Thapar family, renowned for their business acumen. His grandfather, Karam Chand Thapar, laid the foundation for the family's business legacy in Kolkata.
However, it was Gautam's father, Brij Mohan Thapar, who was initially offered the opportunity to lead the family business. Surprisingly, he passed on this responsibility to his younger brother, Lalit Mohan Thapar, citing a lack of desire and the ability to shoulder such a responsibility as reasons.
Gautam Thapar received his education at The Doon School and went on to earn his undergraduate degree from St. Stephen's College at Delhi University.
He later pursued advanced studies in chemical engineering at the Pratt Institute in the United States. However, after failing to secure a suitable job and with his U.S. visa nearing expiry, he made the decision to return to India.
Thapar's career in business began with a significant challenge - turning around BILT's chemical division, which was facing losses due to management-labour conflicts and resource shortages.
Gautam, demonstrating his business acumen, managed to turn the division profitable within a year. This feat was achieved by scrapping expansion plans, selling off assets, and addressing labour concerns.
In 2004, Gautam Thapar assumed the role of Chairman at Crompton Greaves. However, his real ascent to leadership within the Thapar family business came when Lalit Mohan Thapar chose him as the successor to the family's business empire in 2006.
This transition marked a significant turning point in his career, as he took on the responsibility of leading the diverse businesses under the Avantha Group.
Gautam Thapar's career, though marked by success, was not without its challenges and controversies. In 2019, he was abruptly removed from his position as Chairman of CG Power and Industrial Solutions amid allegations of financial irregularities and governance lapses.
Subsequently, investigations into alleged money laundering involving Gautam Thapar and Yes Bank were launched by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Thapar was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in August 2021 following ED raids in Mumbai and Delhi.
In December 2022, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a charge sheet against Gautam Thapar and former CEO and Managing Director of Yes Bank, Rana Kapoor, in connection with an alleged bank fraud case.
Beyond the world of business, Gautam Thapar is involved in various non-business activities. He serves as the President of Thapar University and has been the Chairman of the Ananta Aspen Centre.
He has also been associated with educational institutions like The Doon School and NITIE (National Institute of Industrial Engineering).
Gautam Thapar's love for golf is well-known, and he is the President of the Professional Golf Tour of India. The Avantha Masters, a golf tournament tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, the Asian Tour, and the Professional Golf Tour of India, is a testament to his commitment to promoting golf in India.
In recognition of his achievements, Gautam Thapar received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Manufacturing in 2008, acknowledging his significant contributions to the manufacturing sector.
Gautam Thapar is married to Stephanie Thapar, and their partnership stands as a testament to his success in both personal and professional life. Stephanie Thapar has been a supportive presence in Gautam's journey, complementing his endeavours with her own contributions to their shared life.
Gautam Thapar's life and career serve as a testament to the highs and lows that often accompany the world of business.
His journey reflects the resilience and adaptability required to navigate challenges in the corporate world while also contributing to society and the community through various non-business initiatives.