Rausing was born in Gothenburg in 1926 as the second son to industrialist Ruben Rausing and his wife Elisabeth (née Varenius). Rausing had two brothers, Gad and Sven.
Rausing studied Economics, Statistics and Russian at Lund University, graduating in 1948. In 1954, at the age of 28, Rausing was appointed Managing Director of Tetra Pak, while his brother Gad became Deputy Managing Director. Rausing retained this post until 1985, when he took over as Chairman of the Board. Rausing left Tetra Pak in 1993 and sold his 50% share of the company to Gad in 1995 in what was at the time called the largest private buyout ever in Europe.
Much of the enormous success of Tetra Pak in the 1970s and 1980s has been credited to the leadership of Hans and Gad Rausing, who literally took the company from a six-person family Business to a global multi-national corporation. Over the course of his Business career, Rausing became a specialist in Russian affairs and has made many private Investments in both Russia and Ukraine. He was responsible for the Russian market within Tetra Pak, and negotiated the first Tetra Pak machine export to the then Soviet Union in 1959, eventually making Tetra Pak the largest foreign employer in Russia.
Rausing has been a resident of the UK since 1982. He currently lives in Wadhurst, East Sussex.
Hans Rausing has been appointed Doctor Honoris Causa in Medicine and Economics at Lund University. He is a visiting professor at Mälardalens Högskola, Sweden, and honorary professor at the University of Dubna, Russia. He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 2006.. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge, and in 2011 he was awarded the title Honorary Freeman and Liveryman at The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, London.