Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia was born to a middle class Punjabi family in Amritsar (Punjab). His father was a government worker. From a very young age, he was recognised as a performer, particularly as a dancer. Kumar was raised in Delhi's Chandni Chowk neighbourhood before moving to Mumbai. In Mumbai, he lived in Koliwada, which was another Punjabi dominated area. He studied at Don Bosco School and then Khalsa College, where he took an interest in sports.
He studied martial arts in Bangkok and worked as a Chef. He then came back to Mumbai, where he started teaching martial arts. One of his students happened to be a photographer and recommended him to do modelling. The student gave him a modelling assignment for a small company. For his two hours posing in front of the camera, Kumar got Rs. 5,000, compared to his previous salary of Rs. 4,000 in one month. That was one of the main reasons why he chose to be a model. After a couple of months of modelling, Kumar was finally offered a lead role by producer Pramod Chakravarthy for the movie Deedar.