Gautam Thapar is Chairman & CEO of India's foremost diversified corporation, the Avantha Group. The Group has business interests in diverse areas, including pulp and paper, power transmission and distribution equipment and services, food processing, farm forestry, chemicals, energy, infrastructure, information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services.
With an impressive global footprint, the Group operates in more than 10 countries with 20,000 employees of 20 nationalities.
Gautam began his education at the prestigious Doon School, where he imbibed a liberal education based on the ideals of secularism, discipline and equality. After studying chemical engineering in the U.S.A., he returned to India and started his career as a factory assistant in one of the organisation's manufacturing companies. He rose steadily and steered the organisation through a strategic and visionary turnaround, involving resilience and restructuring, ensuring that the Group attained dominant status in key operating sectors. Gautam became Group Chairman on 1st July 2006. He sits on the boards of various companies in India and overseas, and is one of India's youngest and brightest global business leaders. In 2008, Gautam received the coveted Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Manufacturing.
Keen on giving back to society, Gautam takes his social responsibilities very seriously. This is manifested in his involvement across three sectors: education, leadership development and sports. He serves as an active member of the Pratham Education Trust and is the President of Thapar University, one of the top twenty technical schools in India. He is also the Chairman of The Aspen Institute India. He also takes an avid interest in promoting the game of golf, and is President of the Professional Golf Tour of India.
Gautam is married to Stephanie and they have four children.