He started his career in Hindi cinema as an actor with small roles in six films, like “Taqdeer” (1967) and “Aradhana” (1971). He was the male lead in the 1970s “Umang”, which did not do well at the box office, and “Gumraah” (1976) with Reena Roy and Danny. His directorial debut was the film “Kalicharan” (1976) which he obtained through a recommendation by Shatrughan Sinha. “Kalicharan” was one of the biggest hits of its time. As of 2005, he had written and directed 15 movies out of which 13 were highly successful. In 1982, he started Mukta Arts Private Limited which, in 2000, became a public company, with Subhash Ghai as its chairman and managing director. At the peak of his directorial career in the 1980s and 1990s, he formed a successful collaboration with the veteran Dilip Kumar whom he directed in “Vidhaata” (1982), “Karma” (1986) and “Saudagar” (1991), the latter for which he won the Filmfare Best Director Award. He helped establish the careers of Jackie Shroff and Anil Kapoor, introducing Jackie as a leading actor in “Hero” (1983) and directed Kapoor in “Meri Jung” (1985) for which he was nominated for a Filmfare Best Actor Award. He went onto frequently work with both actors casting them together in the hit films “Karma” (1986), “Ram Lakhan” (1989) and the box office failure “Trimurti” (1995) which he had produced and was directed by Mukul S. Anand. His 1993 release “Khalnayak” starring Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit and Shroff featured the controversial but popular song "Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai". In 1997 he directed “Pardes’ which starred Shahrukh Khan and introduced Mahima Chaudhry and Apoorva Agnihotri. In 1999 he directed “Taal” which starred Akshaye Khanna, Aishwarya Rai and Anil Kapoor. Both “Pardes” and “Taal” were released internationally and featured in the top 20 movies in the U.S. box office charts for several weeks. His following films, “Yaadein” (2001) and “Kisna” (2005) were box office and critical failures. He then took a break from directing and turned producer having success with modestly successful films such as “Aitraaz” (2004), “36 China Town” (2006) and “Apna Sapna Money Money” (2006). In 2006, he set up his own state-of-the-art film institute Whistling Woods International in Mumbai. The institute trains students in filmmaking: production, direction, cinematography, acting, animation, etc. Like Alfred Hitchcock he is known to give brief cameos in his directorial ventures. After a three-year hiatus from directing, he returned in 2008 with “Black and White” released on 7 March 2008 and, later “Yuvvraaj” released in November 2008, which flopped at box office. Incidentally the song "Jai Ho" was to be part of this film, but Ghai felt it was unsuitable for the actor Zayed Khan to perform onscreen; later it was used in “Slumdog Millionaire”.