Gupta entered the Femina Miss India contest in 2007, where she placed third and won the Miss India International title, and later represented India at Miss International pageant. She soon received offers for film roles, and made her acting debut in the 2012 commercially successful crime thriller Jannat 2, that fetched her a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. Gupta received praise for her portrayal in the political drama Chakravyuh (2012) but her performance in the comedy film Humshakals (2014) met with negative reviews. Her highest-grossing releases came with the horror thriller Raaz 3D (2013), the crime drama Rustom (2016), Baadshaho (2017), and the comedy Total Dhamaal (2019).
Gupta was born in New Delhi. Her father is a retired Air Force Officer and her mother is a homemaker. She has a sister named Neha. She spent most of her childhood in Dehradun, Hyderabad and Delhi. She has completed Mass Communication from School of Communication, Manipal University, Manipal prior to auditioning for Femina Miss India, and got a law scholarship at Newcastle University, but she pursued a career in Bollywood instead.
Gupta participated in Femina Miss India in 2007, where she won Miss Photogenic and came 3rd to go on to compete in Miss India International. She featured in the Kingfisher Calendar in 2010.
Gupta made her Bollywood debut with Mahesh Bhatt’s Jannat 2 opposite Emraan Hashmi in the lead role. For her debut performance, Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama said, “Debutante Esha Gupta enchants you with her captivating charm. She appears a tad unrefined at places, nonetheless she handles her part assertively.” Martin D’Souza of Glam Sham wrote, “As for the debutante, Esha Gupta, I guess she may have to enroll herself into an acting school.” Gaurav Malani stated, “Esha Gupta, who looks a mix between Lara Dutta and Isha Koppikar, is merely there for the glam quotient.” Asha Mahadevan of Bollywoodlife said, “Even Esha Gupta manages to cry somewhat convincingly but then there is hardly anything for her to do. Her role is limited to looking sexy and she does it well.” The film was a success at the box office, earning ₹430 million (US$6.0 million) domestically and thus brought in more recognition for Gupta. Later, Gupta signed Vikram Bhatt’s Raaz 3D alongside her Jannat 2 co-star, Emraan Hashmi and Bipasha Basu, Gupta received mixed reviews from critics for her acting prowess, film critic Komal Nahta noted, “Esha Gupta is stiff as Sanjana but does much better towards the end (when she almost goes berserk)”. India Today wrote, “Both Bipasha and Esha get liberal scope to show off booty. A Bhatt film where the heroines don’t get to flaunt it is unimaginable, after all, Bipasha looks hot in her starring role but Esha reveals a few raw edges”. ‘Raaz 3’ performed well at box office within first three days of its release with collections in the vicinity of 360 million.
In 2014, Esha was seen in Sajid Khan’s Comic Caper Humshakals alongside Saif Ali Khan, Ritesh Deshmukh, Ram Kapoor, Bipasha Basu and Tamannaah. Box Office India declared it a “disaster”. She was ranked at 8th position for Times ’50 most desirable Women of 2013.
In 2017, she played the main antagonist in action film Commando 2, which was a moderate box-office success. In 2019, she played a supporting character in comedy film Total Dhamaal. The film grossed ₹200 crore (US$28 million) worldwide in twelve days of release, and was one of the highest grossing Bollywood films of 2019. She is currently managed by TOABH Entertainment.