Daughter of the legendary actor Anil Kapoor and ex-model Sunita Kapoor, Sonam was born and brought up in Mumbai along with her younger siblings Rhea and Harshvardhan. Sonam was nicknamed Giraffe by her father, Anil Kapoor. After completing school in Mumbai, Sonam moved to Singapore where she studied Art and Theater for two years. She then studied Political Science and Economics at the University of East London. Apart from English and Hindi, Sonam speaks Punjabi, Marathi and Urdu. Sonam decided to assist Sanjay Leela Bhansali during the making of Black (2005) and she was eventually cast in his magnum opus, Saawariya (2007).