He completed his primary education from Rander and secondary education from Jain high school, Surat. He completed B.Sc. in Chemistry in 1957. He completed BA from M. S. University, Vadodara in 1959 and later completed MA and PhD from there.
He served as Lecturer and Reader in the M. S. University from 1961 to 1972. He also served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, the US in 1967–68 and the Visiting Professor at Arizona State University, Tempe, the US in 1985. He also served a Professor and Head, Department of Education, Technical Teachers' Training Institute, Madras in 1972–73; Professor of Education, SNDT Women's University, Mumbai in 1973–74; Professor and Head, Department of Education, South Gujarat University, Surat.
Gunvant Shah is chiefly an essayist. His collections of essays are Cardiogram, Ran To Lilachham, Vagda Ne Taras Tahukani, Vicharo Na Vrundavanma, Manna Meghdhanush, Dhai Akshar Prem Ka, Gandhini Ghadiyal, Silence Zone, Gandhini Champal, Batrise Kothe Diva, Sambhavami Yuge Yuge, and Akantna Akashma among others.
He has won several prizes of Gujarati Sahitya Parishad and Gujarati Sahitya Akademi. He was awarded Pravinkant Reshamwala Smriti Award in 1992. He is the recipient of Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak in 1997, the highest literary award in Gujarati literature. He was awarded Swami Sachchidanand Sanman in 2001. He was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2015.