Azhar Iqubal, Co-founder and CEO of Inshorts

In today’s fast-paced world, staying informed is more critical than ever. With a constant influx of information from various sources, it can be overwhelming to keep up with the news. Azhar Iqubal, the Co-founder and CEO of Inshorts, recognized this challenge and set out to revolutionize the way people consume news. Inshorts, a news aggregation app, has not only simplified news consumption but has also played a pivotal role in shaping the way we interact with information in the digital age.

In this article, we will delve into the life and achievements of Azhar Iqubal, shedding light on his journey, the inception of Inshorts, and the impact it has had on the news industry and readers worldwide.

The Early Years of Azhar Iqubal

Azhar Iqubal was born and brought up in India, and like many young entrepreneurs, he exhibited a passion for technology and innovation from an early age. His journey into the world of entrepreneurship began during his college years. Azhar, a computer science engineering graduate from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani, teamed up with two of his college friends, Anunay Pandey and Deepit Purkayastha, to form what would later become a game-changing company in the media and news industry.

The Genesis of Inshorts

The idea for Inshorts took shape while Azhar Iqubal and his co-founders were still in college. They identified a common problem that many young people faced – a lack of time to keep up with the news. Traditional news articles were often lengthy and time-consuming to read, making it difficult for busy individuals to stay informed. Azhar and his friends envisioned a solution that would condense news stories into short, easily digestible snippets that could be consumed quickly, without compromising on the quality of information.

In 2013, they launched their news aggregation app under the name “News in Shorts,” which later rebranded to “Inshorts.” The app aimed to provide a convenient way for users to stay updated on the latest news and current affairs in just 60 words. Azhar’s vision was clear: to make news concise, relevant, and engaging for the smartphone generation.

The Inshorts App: A Game-Changer

Inshorts quickly gained popularity for its unique approach to news delivery. The app employs a team of editors who summarize news articles into 60-word snippets, ensuring that users get the most important information without having to read lengthy articles. The content is also tailored to the user’s preferences, making the news consumption experience highly personalized.

In addition to providing short news snippets, Inshorts has incorporated several innovative features. It introduced a swipe-based interface, allowing users to swipe through news stories in a Tinder-like fashion, making the news-reading experience not only efficient but also engaging. The app also offers a unique “My Feed” feature that allows users to follow specific topics and get updates on their areas of interest.

One of the standout features of Inshorts is its language support. The app is available in multiple languages, breaking down language barriers and ensuring that a wide range of people can access news in their preferred language. This inclusive approach has helped Inshorts gain a significant user base in a diverse country like India, where many regional languages are spoken.

Success and Growth

Azhar Iqubal’s Inshorts struck a chord with a growing audience of young, tech-savvy users who craved quick access to news in an increasingly digital world. As a result, the app quickly gained millions of downloads and users. The success of Inshorts didn’t stop at the borders of India; it expanded its reach internationally, with a global audience recognizing the value of concise, relevant news in a world overflowing with information.

Inshorts’ success also led to financial backing from prominent investors, including Tiger Global Management, making it one of the best-funded startups in India. The app’s innovative approach to news consumption and its widespread popularity made it an attractive investment opportunity.

The company’s growth and influence extended beyond just the Inshorts app. Azhar Iqubal and his team launched a new product, Public, a social network designed for discussions and conversations around trending topics. This venture demonstrated Azhar’s commitment to exploring new avenues and leveraging technology to facilitate meaningful interactions among users.

Challenges and Achievements

Azhar Iqubal’s journey as the CEO of Inshorts was not without its share of challenges. The media industry, particularly the news sector, is highly competitive and ever-evolving. Inshorts had to continuously adapt to changing user preferences and technological advancements. Despite these challenges, Azhar’s leadership and dedication to his vision allowed Inshorts to remain at the forefront of the digital news aggregation landscape.

In 2019, Inshorts achieved another significant milestone by acquiring the vernacular content app, ‘Cardify.’ This strategic move further expanded the company’s reach, especially in the Indian market, where regional languages are in high demand. The acquisition demonstrated Azhar’s strategic thinking and his ability to seize opportunities that aligned with Inshorts’ mission.

Impact on the News Industry

Azhar Iqubal and Inshorts have had a profound impact on the news industry. The app’s success forced established news organizations to rethink their approach to digital news delivery. Inshorts showed that people were hungry for a quick and convenient way to access news, and traditional media outlets had to adapt to the changing landscape.

Additionally, Inshorts played a crucial role in making news more accessible to younger generations. By presenting news in a format that caters to the short attention spans of millennials and Generation Z, Inshorts helped bridge the gap between the younger audience and traditional news. It encouraged many young people to engage with current affairs and stay informed, ultimately contributing to a more informed and aware society.

Personal Philosophy and Leadership

Azhar Iqubal’s leadership philosophy is grounded in innovation, adaptability, and a strong focus on user experience. He believes in staying ahead of the curve, being open to change, and continuously improving the product to meet users’ needs.

Under Azhar’s leadership, Inshorts has fostered a culture of innovation and experimentation. The company encourages its employees to think outside the box, experiment with new ideas, and take calculated risks. This culture of innovation has led to the development of new features and initiatives, ensuring that Inshorts remains a dynamic and forward-thinking company in the media industry.

The Future of Inshorts

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, Inshorts continued to be a prominent player in the news aggregation space, with a user base spanning multiple countries. The app’s success and Azhar Iqubal’s leadership had set a high standard for news delivery in the digital age.

Looking ahead, it is likely that Inshorts will continue to evolve and adapt to changing technologies and user preferences. The company’s commitment to making news accessible and engaging for a wide audience positions it well for continued growth and influence in the news industry.


Azhar Iqubal, the Co-founder and CEO of Inshorts, has made a lasting impact on the way we consume news in the digital age. His vision and dedication to simplifying news consumption have not only transformed the news industry but have also empowered millions of users to stay informed conveniently and efficiently.

Through Inshorts, Azhar and his team have demonstrated the power of innovation, adaptability, and a deep understanding of user needs. As Inshorts continues to thrive and adapt to a changing media landscape, it serves as a shining example of how technology can reshape traditional industries for the better. Azhar Iqubal’s journey and the success of Inshorts stand as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators, showcasing the potential for meaningful change in the world of news and information dissemination.

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