Early life and modelling career
Qureshi was born on 28 July 1986
 into a
Muslim family in
 Her father, Saleem Qureshi, is a restaurateur who runs a chain of restaurants (Saleem's);
 her mother, Ameena Qureshi (a Kashmiri), is a housewife.
 She has three brothers, including actor
 The family relocated to
South Delhi, when Qureshi was a child. She completed her bachelor's in History with Honours from the
University of Delhi.
 Later, she joined Act 1 theatre group and performed in a few theatre productions. Qureshi has worked with several NGOs and assisted a documentary filmmaker.
In 2008, she moved to
Mumbai to audition for film roles, auditioning for a film, Junction, which was never made: "I never thought of coming to Mumbai or being an actress. But when my friend called me for an audition for a movie called Junction, it set me thinking. Sadly, the film never got made".
 Qureshi signed a two-year contract with
Hindustan Unilever to appear in their television commercials.
 She promoted a range of products, including Samsung Mobile (with
Shah Rukh Khan), Vita Marie, Saffola Oil, Mederma Cream and Pears Soap.
 During a shoot for a
Samsung Mobile commercial, director
Anurag Kashyap was impressed with her acting ability and promised to use her in a film. Qureshi recalled: "I didn't believe him then. You hear lots of such stories in this industry, so I wasn't waiting with bated breath". Kashyap kept his promise, though, signing her for a three-film deal with his company
Anurag Kashyap Films.