Chopra initially aspired to pursue a career in investment banking, but after obtaining a triple honours degree in business, finance and economics from Manchester Business School she returned to India during the 2009 economic recession and joined Yash Raj Films as a public relations consultant. She made her acting debut with the company's 2011 romantic comedy Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, winning the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. She followed it by gaining praise for her starring roles in the box office hits— Ishaqzaade (2012), Shuddh Desi Romance (2013) and Hasee Toh Phasee (2014). The first of these won her the National Film Award – Special Mention while the first two of these earned her two nominations for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress. After a three-year hiatus from full-time acting, she starred in several commercially unsuccessful films, with the exception of the comedy Golmaal Again (2017) and the war drama Kesari (2019), in which she had brief roles.