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Faisal Farooqui

Faisal I. Farooqui (born 23 April) is an entrepreneur and the Founder[1] and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of,[2] Farooqui is an advocate of freedom of expression [3] on the Internet- he challenged[4] India's restrictive IT Rules in the Supreme Court which resulted in the Honorable Supreme Court striking down India's draconian Section 66A and reading down of many other sections of the Information Technology Act of India ( & Faisal Farooqui v/s Union of India) [5] [6]

Faisal Farooqui
Faisal Farooqui 2013.jpg
Born23 April
EducationBinghamton University, State University of New York

In 2012, Entrepreneur Magazine named Farooqui among the Top Business People in India and was included in a list of Entrepreneurs who have created History.[7] Earlier in 2009, Farooqui was named as a Youth Icon India's national TV news channel (Doordarshan)[8]

The British High Commission in Delhi announced Farooqui among 50 Indians to its list of young leaders who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and symbolize optimism of the country.[9]


Education and early careerEdit

Farooqui attended the State University of New York at Binghamton, from where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems as well as Finance. At the University, Farooqui was elected to the Faculty Senate and the Students Association as the undergraduate representative. He started writing tech-column and later became the Technology Editor of the campus newspaper, Pipe Dream.[10]

Farooqui was recruited from campus and worked in the Telecoms consulting practice of American Management System, now acquired by CGI Systems, in Fairfax, Virginia. He later quit, to launch in 2000 [11]

Farooqui received the Manthan Award for Best Youth website in 2006 from India's IT Minister Sachin Pilot.[12] He speaks at conferences concerning Social Media, Internet technology, Marketing, Entrepreneurship and youth empowerment etc.[13][14]


In an interview with CNBC, Farooqui said that the inspiration for came to him while in a media class at Binghamton University.[15] won "Best Portal Award 2009" at the first edition of the IDMA (India Digital Media Awards) held on March 11, 2010.[16][17]

The Wall Street Journal-Mint states websites such as and YouTube are alternative channels for brands to get consumer feedback.[18] was founded four years before US-based popular consumer review site

Auto-rickshaw advertisingEdit

According to the Economic Times, India's largest business newspaper, Faisal Farooqui pioneered auto-rickshaw advertising in India by painting the logo of on the back of the hood of rickshaws of Mumbai in 2001[19][20][21] This was later extended to the entire country.[19] Auto-rickshaws (or their hoods)

Other Ventures and InvolvementEdit

In 2002 Farooqui co-founded Zarca Interactive, an enterprise feedback company based in Herndon, Virginia. As CEO of Zarca Interactive, he presented at the Technovate seminar of European Society for Opinion and Market Research (ESOMAR), held in Cannes, France in January 2003[22] He argued for an effective integration of Market Research and CRM systems.[23][24]

In 2011, Farooqui launched as part of's offering. Dealface offered daily discount deals on spas, dance classes, health checkups, car service, restaurants.[25] It was the first deal site to offer SMS coupons, thus eliminating the need for paper printouts of coupons.[26]

Net Neutrality in IndiaEdit

Farooqui has been a vocal advocate of Net neutrality in India. He has argued that an open Internet is the right way to harness the huge entrepreneurial potential of India. In a CNBC TV18 Debate, he argued against the proponents of preferential Internet. [27]. Farooqui argued in an op-ed interview in Times of India that Not having net neutrality will result in increased cost of internet access for the average consumer, less competition in the e-commerce space and a slower, more restrictive internet. [28]

Farooqui, along with nine other prominent entrepreneurs in India, wrote a letter to India's TRAI requesting TRAI to issue clear Regulations preventing telecom providers or content providers from acting as gate-keepers offering restricted Internet services instead of the Open Internet. [29]

No Internet ShutdownsEdit

Farooqui petitioned the Chief Ministers of twelve Indian states imploring them to take requisite action that would prohibit the issuance of orders that make Internet services entirely inaccessible for a particular area. The petition was part of an effort by a group of concerned organizations and citizens led by - a Delhi-based not-for-profit organization of which Farooqui is an advisory Board member. [30] Farooqui claims Internet shutdown compromises safety and security of families, prevents our progressive nation (India) from realising the benefits of digital economy and brings an element of chaos. [31]

Social InitiativesEdit

Mumbai's Jogger's Park was abruptly taken over by the Mumbai Municipal Authorities from the foundation that was assigned to manage it since decades. Farooqui and like-minded Joggers Park walkers started the Save Joggers Park movement. They worked closely with the municipal authorities and ensured that the park was maintained at the highest standards. [32]


  1. ^ Sujata Reddy (1 March 2017). "Food above all! Not just meetings, Mouthshut's Faisal Farooqui pitches in at the office canteen too". The Economic Times.
  2. ^ Surabhi Agarwal (March 26, 2015). "Newsmaker: Faisal Farooqui". Business Standard.
  3. ^ "Interview: Victory for free-speech campaigners, says section 66A petitioner". The Indian Express. March 24, 2015.
  4. ^ Avanish Tiwary (March 25, 2015). "Section 66A of IT Act: Entire digital ecosystem will take off from here, says MouthShut founder Faisal Farooqui". The Financial Express.
  5. ^ "MouthShut Challenges IT Rules in Supreme Court to SafeGuard Freedom of Expression". Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Create History: 1st Anniversary Issue". Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Doordarshan names Faisal Farooqui as Youth Icon (Entrepreneurship)". YouTube. 25 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Young Leaders Forum Delegation List". Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  10. ^
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ "wins Manthan-AIF Award". 2006-08-05. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  13. ^ "Speaker's Biography - SiliconIndia Startup City Mumbai - 12 September 2009". 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  14. ^ "Content not found !!!!!". Archived from the original on 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  15. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  16. ^ Adgully Bureau (2012-07-31). "Exclusive | Opinion, that matters: MouthShut's Faisal Farooqui". Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  17. ^
  18. ^ Priyanka Mehra (2007-04-02). "Firms discover the power of you". Livemint. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  19. ^ a b "The Economic Times". Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  20. ^ "Business Model 101: How the Auto Rickshaw may just change your marketing budgets". Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  21. ^ "Dotcoms discover a new marketing vehicle | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". 2006-09-25. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  22. ^ [2][dead link]
  23. ^ "Faisal Farooqui - Founder - CEO; Head- India Ops, Zarca Interactive". Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  24. ^ "Corporate Profile". Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  25. ^ "Now launches a daily deals site --". Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  26. ^ "JOSIC - Digital Intelligence". Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^

External linksEdit