Devika Rani’s early years were mostly spent in London where she studied architecture, and started her career as a textile engineer. In 1928, she met an Indian film-producer Himanshu Rai, who persuaded her to join his production crew. She assisted in costumes design and art direction for the film. The two married in 1929, and went to Germany where Devika Rani learned different aspects of film-making in the UFA Studios in Berlin. Rai then cast her in a film in 1933 in which her performance received critical acclaim. Returning to India, the couple established their production studio Bombay Talkies. They produced many women-centric films throughout the decade, with Devika Rani portraying lead roles in most of them. Her on-screen pairing with Ashok Kumar became popular in India.