Irani was born on 2 December 1959, in Mumbai. He finished his schooling in St. Mary's School, Mumbai. Irani was dyslexic and had ADHD and had a lisp. He overcame his lisp eventually. He undertook a two-year waiter course at Mithibai College in Mumbai. After his polytechnic diploma course, he joined the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower and worked there as a waiter and in room service. He was promoted and finally worked as a waiter at the rooftop French restaurant, Rendezvous. He worked at the Taj Mahal for two years.