The classically trained Ram Kapoor made his on screen debut with a critically acclaimed television serial called Nyay (1997), directed by Sudhir Mishra. The show dealt with the emotional turmoil and struggle of women and Ram played Gaurav, the love interest of the sister of one of the protagonists. Though the show did not gain popular recognition, Kapoor's work was appreciated and he was inundated with offers. Craving creative satisfaction, Kapoor took up three more shows, Kavita (1998), Heena (1998) and Sangharsh (1999).
If Nyay bestowed critical acclaim, Kavita (1998) a love story between a rich tycoon's son and a hard working, righteous middle class girl gave Kapoor the opportunity to play the romantic lead, Rishi Grover opposite Smriti Irani. This was Kapoor's first association with Balaji Telefilms. In 1999 Kapoor starred in two new daily dramas, Heena and Sangarsh. Heena was a female-oriented show about the trials and tribulations of a woman who fights back to achieve happiness. Kapoor portrayed the character of Dr. Amir. Simultaneously he started and starred in Sangharsh, another daily drama.
The year 2000 was not only a busy year for Kapoor but also very successful. It was also the year Kapoor once again teamed up with Balaji Telefilms to act in Ghar Ek Mandir. The show—which garnered popular appeal and made Kapoor into a household name—was the story of two individuals, Rahul, played by Ram Kapoor, and Anchal (Gautami Gadgil) who found love with each other after entering into a marriage of convenience. By this time Kapoor was working in four shows at once. Exhaustion and fatigue coupled with unhappiness over the direction of his character made Kapoor opt out of two shows, Kavita and Sangharsh. By then Heena had aired its last episode, leaving Kapoor to concentrate on Ghar Ek Mandir. It was in this year that Kapoor worked with Amir Raza Hussein once again when he became part of the largest theatrical show in India, compromising of 140 actors. The show ran for 10 days in New Delhi as a tribute to the heroes of the Kargil War. Ram played five different characters with aplomb, the show was called The Fifty Days of War-Kargil. This was Kapoor's first and only theater experience.
In 2001 Kapoor was seen on Zee TV's show Rishtey. The show dealt with human emotions and the interaction of people under different circumstances. Kapoor played Sujoy, a young man who cheated on his wife and then returned to seek a second chance, in an episode called "Phir Ek Baar". Kapoor also played the male protagonist in the serial Kabhi Aaye Na Judaai in which he essayed the role of Rajeshwar Agnihotri, a principled man whose united family faces a clash of ideology when confronted with the biggest temptation - money. 2001 was the year Kapoor entered movies with an appearance in Monsoon Wedding. He performed on the song "Chunari chunari".
Next Kapoor added a show called Kehta Hai Dil (2002) to his body of work; This Indian adaptation of Picket Fences was about a small town, Anand Nagar, where most people know each other. It is a story of ordinary people whose lives take a dramatic turn because of situations they encounter. Ram Kapoor played a lawyer named Jai Singh.
2003 saw Kapoor both on the small and big screen. On the small screen he appeared in Dhadkan (2003), a medical drama in which he portrayed Dr. Rajeev Agarwal, the head psychiatrist. This show had a new plot every week; however the continued plot line was the doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Agarwal and Chanchal (Gautami Gadgil), a mentally challenged girl. Ram was also seen in Awaaz Dil Se Dil Tak. The serial deals with the intricacies of human interaction when eighteen passengers get marooned on an island and are later rescued. Kapoor played a cop and received great reviews; this is what one critic said, "Ram Kapoor who plays the cop has been the best of the lot, for a controlled performance of a father dealing with his child's kidnappers." On the big screen Kapoor was seen in the critically acclaimed Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, a sociopolitical drama directed by Sudhir Mishra and produced by Pritish Nandy Communications. Kapoor portrayed Arun Mehta a man who faces emotional turmoil in the different stages of his life.
Kapoor followed up Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi with Bali (2004), a telefilm in which he played Prithvi Singh. Bali revolved around Prithvi Singh and his wife who is shattered due to a miscarriage. Prithvi Singh is a man who has fallen out of love with his fragile wife and in love with Tanya, an attractive woman. While facing his inner turmoil Prithvi also has to face Bali, a serial killer on the loose. In 2004 Kapoor was also seen in Mansha, where he played Vinay, the husband of the lead character.
In 2005 Kapoor was seen in three Hindi movies, Devaki, Kal: Yesterday and Tomorrow and Missed Call. Devaki highlighted the plight of women in urban and rural India, comparing the similarities of their fate. The film in general received an unfavorable response, and was a critical failure. However, Kapoor's performance as Rahul was complimented. In his next film Kal: Yesterday and Tomorrow Kapoor worked alongside, Chitrangada Singh, Shiney Ahuja and Boman Irani in a story about relationships, friendship, change and a love triangle intertwined with murder. The movie received mixed reviews. Next Kapoor was seen in Missed Call, a film which received polarized reactions at the film festivals. At the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles the movie was critically appreciated and the critics called it strikingly original and darkly humorous. However, at the Cannes Film Festival it was a critical and general failure.
2006 was the breakthrough year for Kapoor, when he paired up once again with Balaji Telefilms for the Zee TV serial Kasamh Se, a love story in which Kapoor essayed the role of Jai Walia, a rich, suave, sophisticated, ruthless and arrogant business tycoon. The character of Jai Walia became iconic, acquiring a cult-like status amongst the viewers. It was for his portrayal of the arrogant tycoon who reluctantly falls in love with his shy, unwanted bride that Kapoor received numerous awards, along with critical acclaim and popular recognition.
In 2007 Kapoor joined Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi as Jas Thakral, an eccentric, psychological, stylish villain with a dark sense of humor, a penchant for green, a love for cats and his neighbor's wife. The character of Jas Thakral was not accepted by the regular audience of the show.
In 2009 Kasamh Se ended its three year reign. In order to avoid being typecast in roles similar to Jai Walia, Kapoor opted for Basera, a show that deals with the issues facing the elder population of India. In an ensemble cast, Kapoor plays the protagonist Keshu Bhai Sanghvi, an uneducated, happy go lucky principled, moral man with high values and a sense of humor, a grandfather who has achieved success through hard work and honesty. The show launched on 17 August 2009 on NDTV Imagine and opened in the top 100 on the TRP chart. 2009 also saw Kapoor participate in two reality shows, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa as a participant and Rakhi Ka Swayamwar as a host.
Due to the huge commercial success of Swayamwar 1 (Rakhi Ka Swayamwar), Kapoor has been reassigned to host Swayamwar 2 (Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayega'). The show will be shot in the end of December and will air in 2010. Besides Basera, Kapoor appeared in two films in 2010. The first was a commercial film Karthik Calling Karthik, starring Farhan Akhtar and Deepika Padukone with Kapoor playing the role of Kamath. The second, Udaan, was a parallel cinema by the award-winning director Anurag Kashyap, in which Kapoor will be seen as Jimmy Singh. He has also hosted the hit television reality show Rahul Dulhaniya Lejayega. Currently he is doing a hit show on Sony Bade Ache Lagte Hai.. with his co-star Sakshi Tiwari. His role is of a rich man Ram Kapoor.