He made his film debut with Love Story (1981) produced by his father and directed by Rahul Rawail which was a blockbuster. His next film, the 1982 release Teri Kasam with actress Poonam Dhillon, was a mild success, though his later films proved to be disappointing at the box office. He then worked in Mahesh Bhatt's Janam in (1985). His understated performance in this film is still considered his career's best. In the following year he had his second box office hit with Naam (1986), again a Mahesh Bhatt film which was produced by his father and also starred his brother-in-law Sanjay Dutt in the lead role. Despite the success of Naam, Gaurav's career declined as all of his subsequent films failed to do well at the box office. Having produced his earlier films Janam and Naam, his father tried to revive his career with the 1993 film Phool which also had his father and father-in-law Sunil Dutt in supporting roles, but that didn't bring him any luck either. He took a long break from acting and returned to films in 2000 with a supporting role in late actor Mazhar Khan's Gang.