Zoya Akhtar was born and brought up in Bombay. She is the daughter of poet, lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar and elder sister of famous actor and director Farhan Akhtar. Zoya has writing skills in her blood as she is great granddaughter of late Nasir Akhtar Saab, a well-known Urdu poet.
She did her schooling from Maneckji Cooper and earned a Bachelors of Arts degree at Xavier's College, both in Mumbai. Later, she even joined the New York University Film School to learn film production.
She worked as a casting director for various films including Dil Chahta Hai, and also as an assistant director for her brother Farhan's films. Soon she made her directorial debut with Luck By Chance also won Filmfare Award for BEST DIRECTION for her movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.