Apoorva Lakhia was educated at the Lawrence School, Sanawar.He dropped out of a filmmaking course in New York University to assist Mira Nair on The Perez Family.He had been an assistant for Hollywood films such as The Ice Storm, A Perfect Murder and Addicted to Love.
Before becoming a film director, Apoorva was an assistant director for Ashutosh Gowariker's period epic film Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India. As Aamir Khan was looking for someone with Hollywood experience for Lagaan, Farhan Akhtar  recommended Apoorva, who had worked with casts and crews in Hollywood. He also worked as the second assistant director for the film Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996).
He made his debut as a film director with the 2002 film Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost. His second film Ek Ajnabee released in 2005 which starred Amitabh Bachchan and Arjun Rampal in the leading role was a remake of the Hollywood film Man on Fire. His third film Shootout at Lokhandwala which has a multi-star cast released on 25 May 2007 and was based on real-life events involving the underworld gangsters Maya Dolas and Dilip Buwa. In late 2007 he directed a short story titled Sex on the Beach for the anthology film Dus Kahaniyaan. His next film was Mission Istanbul starring Vivek Oberoi, Sunil Shetty, Shriya Saran and Zayed Khan. North American producer Vikas Kohli of Fatlabs studio collaborated with Mika Singh for the first time on the Mission Istaanbul soundtrack.
He has written the story of Hide & Seek (2009), which is directed Shawn Aranha. Lakhia wrote and directed all the movies from his debut to Mission Istanbul. His latest guest appearance was in a negative role in the movie Knock Out starring Sanjay Dutt and Irrfan Khan.
In 2013, he directed re-make of the breakthrough film, Zanjeer with Telugu actor Ram Charan.