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Azhar Iqubal, Entrepreneur, Azhar Iqubal Biography,
Entrepreneur Founder Stories

Azhar Iqubal: From Facebook Startup to Digital Media Mogul

Azhar Iqubal is an inspiring entrepreneur who transformed a small Facebook page into a major digital media company, Inshorts. Known for its innovative approach to news aggregation, Inshorts delivers concise 60-word news summaries to its users. As of now, Azhar Iqbal serves as the Chairman of the company, with Deepit Purkayastha stepping in as the CEO. Here’s the story of how a 31-year-old visionary built a successful business from scratch.

Azhar Iqubal

Early Life and Education

Azhar Iqubal was born in Kishanganj, Bihar, India, into a lower-middle-class family. With a strong passion for learning, he excelled in his studies and earned a spot at IIT Delhi in 2009, where he pursued Computer Science on a scholarship. His academic achievements include ranking around 600 in the IIT JEE exam and embarking on an integrated M.Tech program at IIT Delhi before deciding to focus on his business ventures.

Inshorts: The Beginning

In 2013, Azhar Iqubal, along with his IIT classmates Anunay Arunav and Deepit Purkayastha, started a Facebook page called “News in Shorts.” The page quickly gained popularity for its brief and informative news updates. Recognizing the potential, they launched Inshorts as a mobile app in 2015, which revolutionized the way people consumed news by providing 60-word summaries of the latest headlines.

Challenges and Triumphs

Like any groundbreaking venture, Inshorts faced several challenges, from adapting to vertical video formats to balancing development with user demands. However, these obstacles became stepping stones, propelling Inshorts to new heights. The company’s creative advertising concepts helped attract over 250 brands, further solidifying its success.

Innovation and Adaptability

Azhar Iqubal’s entrepreneurial spirit didn’t stop with Inshorts. In 2019, he launched “Public,” a location-based social network and news platform. With over 100 million downloads and a vibrant community of content creators, Public has become India’s largest location-centric social hub. Reflecting on his journey, Azhar remarked, “A decade later, as I step into my 30s, we are today one of the largest players in our space.”

Net Worth and Investments

Azhar Iqubal has a net worth of INR 500 crore. Under his leadership, Inshorts has raised around USD 119 million from prominent investors like Tiger Global and Times Internet. His achievements have earned him numerous accolades, including the Business World Young Entrepreneur Award and Leaders of Asia Award.

Awards and Recognitions

Azhar Iqubal’s contributions to the business world have been widely recognized:

  • Business World 40 under 40
  • Fortune India 40 under 40
  • Business World Young Entrepreneur Award
  • The Most Enterprising Brands
  • Leaders of Asia Award
  • Forbes India 30 under 30
  • Forbes Asia 30 under 30

Impact and Recognition

As the digital media market in India continues to grow, Inshorts is well-positioned to lead the industry. With revenues expected to soar to INR 1,079 million by 2024, the company is set to expand its footprint and captivate a burgeoning audience. Azhar’s vision includes broadening Inshorts’ linguistic horizons to cater to diverse regional dialects and exploring global markets.

Shark Tank India

In addition to his business endeavors, Azhar Iqubal joined Shark Tank India as a Shark for Season 3, alongside OYO’s CEO Ritesh Agarwal and Zomato’s CEO Deepinder Goyal. His participation in the show has inspired many young entrepreneurs and highlighted his commitment to fostering new talent in the business world.


Azhar Iqubal’s entrepreneurial journey and the transformative impact of Inshorts on news consumption have left an indelible mark on the media industry. As the world evolves, Inshorts, guided by Azhar’s unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence, stands poised to lead the charge in digital media.


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