was born on 20 March 1986 in a Bengali Hindu family, to Utpal and Paula Gangopadhyay, in New Delhi. Her father works as the COO of Netshape Technologies, while her mother works as a Director of Education at The Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. Her parents settled in the USA in 1989 after spending her first year in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, with Richa being brought up in Pennsylvania and Michigan. While attending Okemos High School, she was featured in the local media for founding a youth-tutoring program for at-risk children in Lansing, which she ran for four years. She went on to major in Dietetics and Health Administration at Michigan State University, Michigan.
Richa was signed on to portray the lead role in the 2010 Telugu film, Leader produced by AVM Productions and directed by Sekhar Kammula. She was recommended to an assistant director of Leader whilst at a gym, who in turn recommended her to Sekhar Kammula. Richa moved to Hyderabad and auditioned for the film on her birthday. She was selected instantly and shooting started 2 days later.In the film, she played the role of Archana, a CEO of a TV channel and a daughter of a politician who falls in love with the title character, played by debutant Rana Daggubati. The film opened to positive reviews and did well commercially, with Richa's performance described as "pretty and charming" and "good in a performance oriented role" by critics. After the success of the film, director P. Vasu signed her up to appear in Nagavalli, a sequel to his 2005 film Chandramukhi. The film featured an ensemble cast of Venkatesh, Anushka Shetty, Shraddha Das and Poonam Kaur. During the production of the film, Vasu was initially unimpressed and Richa has revealed that he had planned to drop her from the project.