Azhar was born in Patna, Bihar, in a middle-class family. He was always interested in reading and writing, and scored well in his exams. He got admission in IIT Delhi, one of the most prestigious engineering colleges in India, in 2011. He chose to study computer science, hoping to learn more about the internet and technology.
Azhar was not satisfied with the curriculum and the teaching methods at IIT. He felt that he was not learning anything useful or relevant to his interests. He also realized that he wanted to do something more than just getting a degree and a job. He wanted to create something of his own, something that would make a difference in the world.
Azhar met his co-founders, Anunay Pandey and Deepit Purkayastha, at IIT Delhi. They shared a common passion for news and information. They noticed that most people did not have the time or the attention span to read long articles. They decided to create a platform that would provide short and crisp summaries of the most important news stories. They launched Inshorts (then called News in Shorts) in 2013, as a Facebook page.
Inshorts soon gained a lot of followers and positive feedback on Facebook. The team realized that they had a potential market for their product. They decided to build an app that would deliver 60-word news summaries to the users' smartphones. They launched the app in 2015, and received a huge response. They also raised funding from investors like Tiger Global, Rebright Partners, and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal.
Inshorts has grown to become one of the most popular and trusted news apps in India. It has over 10 million downloads and 3 million daily active users. It covers a wide range of topics, from politics and sports to entertainment and lifestyle. It also generates revenue from advertising and sponsored content. In 2020, Inshorts became profitable, with a revenue of Rs 81 crore and a profit of Rs 6 crore.
Azhar has always been passionate about supporting and mentoring young entrepreneurs. He has invested in several startups, such as Koo, Josh, and Zostel. He has also been featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 list and Fortune 40 Under 40 list. In 2021, he was invited to join Shark Tank India, the Indian version of the popular reality show where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to investors.