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17 Indian Muslim Entrepreneurs whose stories will amuse you – Part 1

The creation of a sustainable, profit-making entity that contributes to the development of a society is a task not all can shoulder. Entrepreneurs are bearers of this exalting burden. Although hailing from different backgrounds and cultures, all entrepreneurs share the courage to venture into the unknown.

Though entrepreneurship knows no boundaries of faith, we’re presenting to you a list of the top Muslim entrepreneurs in India (listed alphabetically).

1. Ayaz Basrai : 

The dream of an idea is often sweeter than its reality. Not so much for Ayaz Basrai. A pass out of the National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad), Ayaz graduated in Industrial Design and specialized in product design.

After working in studios like Ideaspice Design Studio (Dubai), Lokus Design, and XHeight Design studio, he moved on and founded The Busride, an independent design studio, which seems to have touched almost every field you could think of: office spaces (Sony music studio, Channel V studio), retail spaces (The Shantanu Nikhil Gallery, The Turtle Retail Stores), houses (one at Ranwar and one at Tutikorin), and even films (Krrish, Chandni Chowk to China). Apart from Busride, Ayaz also runs The Gypsy Kitchen. He is passionate about Bandra and organizes Bandra Walks.

2. Azhar Iqubal

Today everyone is busy. Either they are busy with work or in their daily chores. Seldom people make time to read a news. But it’s essential for everybody to stay updated about the happenings in and around the world. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the news were filtered and shortened for you? Azhar Iqubal, an IIT Delhi dropout started up with News in Shorts along with Anunay Arunav of IIT Delhi, and Deepit Purkayastha of IIT Kharagpur in 2013.

This young entrepreneur has turned our dreams into a reality by creating the app, News in Shorts. The app provides an experience, of knowing it all, without reading it all. The app curates news from all the sources, handpicks the best articles, and provides the gist of those stories in just 60 words.

3. Farhan Azmi

There are places you don’t want to be put in, and then there are places you do. Farhan Azmi gives to you the latter. The politician cum hotelier finished his schooling at The Scholar High School and studied commerce at Jai Hind and Sydenham College.

What started as a hangout place for friends has metamorphosed into Infinity Hotels Pvt. Ltd., which is the parent company of Koyla, Café Basilico, Basilico House, and ChaiCoffi. Each is unique in its concept and the audience it looks to serve. All these have proved to place people want to be seen in. All throughout, Farhan has carefully carved himself a niche keeping in mind what he calls ‘space-starved’ Mumbaikars. Farhan evidently has grand expansion plans for Infinity Hotels and he’s juggling politics and business well.

4. Faisal Farooqui 

Want to talk tireless? Talk Faisal Farooqui. Faisal graduated as a Bachelor in Science as well as in Finance from The State University of New York, Binghamton. He, unlike many in his stead, returned to India after the completion of his course and founded, an online customer feedback, and interaction portal. As of now, it has recorded over six million users a month and counting.

Faisal also co-founded Zarca Interactive, an online survey software. He has received various awards and titles, like the Manthan Award by Govt. of India – Best Youth Website (2006), Indian Digital Media Awards – Best Web Portal of the Year-Gold (2011), etc. In addition to the awards, he was named Top Entrepreneur by the Entrepreneur Magazine in 2012 and one of the Top 100 Digital Icons of India 2012. When he isn’t busy receiving awards, he’s giving talks at prestigious institutions such as the American University in Dubai, IIM Ahmedabad, and IIT Mumbai. He published a paper on “Application of Market Research Towards Proactive Customer Relationship Management” in 2003. What’s more, he also pioneered auto rickshaw advertising.

5. Gulrez Alam

Social media and e-commerce are essential weapons for the success and sustenance of companies. Without SEO and SEM, they would be as good as a gun without bullets. Gulrez Alam has spent more than a decade of making social media and e-commerce useful to his clients.

Gulrez, an MBA from IILM New Delhi, founded Resultrix in 2008. It is a leading service provider of search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), affiliate and social media marketing. They are certified partners with Google AdWords and Google Analytics. Resultrix has also been listed as a Microsoft adExcellence Company. In a matter of six years of its formation, it has been acquired by Publicis Group. If you do want to catch him while he’s in Mumbai and make it look accidental, try the Sunday Farmer’s Market at Bandra.


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