Gautam Thapar (born 7 December 1960) is an Indian businessman and founder of the Avantha Group. He received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Manufacturing in 2008. Gautam Thapar belongs to the third generation of the business family founded by his grandfather Karam Chand Thapar, in Kolkata. Karam Chand had initially offered the reins of the family business to Gautum's father, Brij Mohan Thapar, bypassing his oldest son Inder Mohan Thapar. However, Brij Mohan passed on the chance to his younger brother Lalit Mohan Thapar, giving lack of desire and inability to shoulder the responsibility as the reasons. Gautam was educated at The Doon School. He then studied chemical engineering at Pratt Institute in the United States. When he failed to find a suitable job and found his US visa running out, Gautam returned to India.