She was born on 20 March, 1986 in a Bengali Brahmin 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 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 done a major in Dietetics and Health Administration at Michigan State University, Michigan.
In August 2007, Richa won the Miss Michigan pageant and in December, she was crowned Miss India USA 2007 at the 26th annual pageant held at Royal Albert's Palace in New Jersey. she had secured the title of Miss Photogenic and qualified to represent USA in the 17th Annual Miss India Worldwide Pageant held in Johannesburg. She won awards for Miss Beautiful Eyes and Miss Photogenic. She had also won Miss Congeniality award in miss india USA contest.
Richa left the USA in 2008 to Shastrinagar, India to embark on a career in films. She subsequently graduated with a diploma in acting from Anupam Kher's acting school, Actor Prepares, and completed her portfolio, earning offers for work in fashion shows and for modelling. In early 2009, Richa featured in a commercial for Vatika Almond Hair Oil alongside Preity Zinta. She also worked as a model for Peter England, Malabar Gold and Kalaniketan.