Yami Gautam was born in a Pahari-Punjabi family. Her father, Mukesh Gautam, is a Punjabi film director. Yami has a sister, Surilie Gautam who made her big screen debut with Punjabi film Power Cut. She did her regular schooling and later joined college for pursuing a graduate degree in law honours. She had aspired to join Indian Administrative Services (IAS) as a young girl, but at the age of 20, Yami decided to start her acting career. As she was pursuing Studies in Law Honors, she left full-time studies for acting. Recently, she is doing her part-time Graduation from Mumbai. She moved to Mumbai to pursue a career in movies when she was twenty. She made her television debut with Chand Ke Paar Chalo, which was followed by Raajkumar Aaryyan. Following this, she played her most notable role in Yeh Pyar Na Hoga Kam, which aired on Colors. Gautam made her film debut in Kannada film Ullasa Utsaha. Whilst the film failed at the box office, Gautam received positive reviews for her performance. She later made her Bollywood debut with Vicky Donor, in which she starred opposite Ayushmann Khurrana. It became a major commercial success and received critical appreciation. She made her Telugu debut with the 2011 film Nuvvila, directed by Ravi Babu. She signed her second film in Kollywood with Tamilselvanum Thaniyar Anjalum opposite Jai. Her second Hindi film was Eeshwar Nivas's Total Siyappa', opposite Pakistani actor-singer Ali Zafar produced by Reliance Entertainment and Neeraj Pandey, got released in 2014. She has completed filming for Prabhu Deva's Action Jackson and Sriram Raghavan's Badlapur. Her upcoming movies include Tamilselvanum Thaniyar Anjalum, Junooniyat and Kaabil.