Nikhil was born in Begumpet, Hyderabad, and studied at Hyderabad Public School (HPS) in Begumpet. He calls himself a "Begumpet boy". He studied at the Muffakham Jah College of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad. He started out as an assistant director for the film Hyderabad Nawaabs. He had minor roles in various movies before doing Happy Days, the first movie in Tollywood with an overseas release date earlier than the Indian release. Directed by National award winner Sekhar Kammula, Nikhil plays one of the 4 male leads in the movie. It was declared a Smash Hit and gave Nikhil overnight fame.Happy Days was one among a few low budget movies made in 2007 that became commercially successful. His first solo lead movie was Ankit, Pallavi & Friends. He has appeared in hit movies like Yuvatha and Veedu Theda which ran for 50 days in Andhra Pradesh. and got his major breakthrough in 2013 with the smash hit film Swamy Ra Ra, which was a blockbuster. His next movie, titled Karthikeya, (October 2014) earned him brilliant reviews from critics. The trade pundits have declared the movie to have collected over 20 crores at the worldwide box office and certified the film a super hit.[clarification needed] His 2015 1st release is Surya vs Surya, which opened to largely positive reviews and was appreciated for its fresh theme and storyline. It went on to gross 11cr in less than two weeks and stood as another success at the box office. The movie ShankaraBharanam had opened to mixed reviews but had taken him to record collections. Ekkadiki Pothavu Chinnavada (2016) his latest movie is a blockbuster and has broken all previous records. Collecting Nearly 40 crores Gross in its Full run EPC stood as one of Telugu cinemas Biggest Blockbusters of 2016 Taking Nikhil to Stardom.