Raj Kumar Gupta and Shanti are a couple deeply in love with each other. Raj Kumar is an up and coming engineer in Seth Din Dayal’s construction company. Impressed by his diligence, Seth Din Dayal wishes to marry his daughter Kamini to Raj and make him a partner in his company. When Raj hears about this, he vehemently opposes it. But his mother convinces him to trade his ethics for ambition. A betrayed Shanti tells Raj that she is pregnant, but refuses any help from him and leaves.
Growing up in extreme poverty, Shanti’s son Vijay witnesses the prejudice and melancholy she suffers all her life. One day as Vijay is working in the mines he gets word that she has fallen gravely ill. With her dying breath, Shanti urges him to always remain courageous. After her death, Vijay vows vengeance on Raj Kumar Gupta and travels to Delhi to enact his plan.
Vijay’s confidence and cunning soon bears fruit in the city. He purchases a piece of land occupied by a thug from Raj Kumar, promising to pay him 5 lakh rupees in fifteen days for it. He borrows the money from a rival of Raj Kumar’s, Balwant Rai and clears the land of the occupying thugs. He starts his own construction company, naming it Shanti for his mother. Vijay soon encounters Raj Kumar’s loyal secretary Geeta and his not-so-loyal employee Bhandari. He exploits Bhandari to get hold of Raj Kumar’s tender proposals. With this information, he is able to snatch away many lucrative deals from under his nose. Raj Kumar suspects that Geeta is the one leaking information and fires her. But Vijay does not wish Geeta to suffer for Bhandari’s crimes and willingly gives up the secret to Raj Kumar. He also hires Geeta to work for his own company.
Vijay does not stop at competing with Raj Kumar professionally. He also tries to drive a wedge between his son Shekhar and his girlfriend Sheetal. When that fails, he encourages Raj Kumar’s daughter Bubbly to marry her boyfriend Ravi against her father’s wishes. Shekhar gets into a fight with Vijay over this. But Geeta tells Shekhar the truth behind Vijay’s vengeful acts. Shekhar is ashamed of his father’s actions and leaves the house with his sister. A despondent and hateful Raj Kumar pays Balwant Rai to kill Vijay. Having driven Raj Kumar to the edge, Vijay finally reveals his true identity to him. A repentant Raj Kumar rushes to stop Balwant Rai from killing him. When Balwant Rai shoots at Vijay, Raj Kumar sacrifices himself by taking the bullet instead. With his dying breath he asks for Vijay’s forgiveness. Vijay is finally reconciled with his siblings and renames his company Shanti Raj Constructions.
The film continued the tradition of Bachchan’s ‘angry young man’ persona and its success was another notch in the belt for writer duo Salim-Javed.