The Argentine says the Juventus head coach deserves most of the credit for the Bianconeri's three successive Serie A title wins
Mourinho enjoyed a highly successful two-year spell in charge of the Nerazzurri – which culminated with a treble win in the summer of 2010.
The Portuguese coach eventually left the club to take charge of Spanish side Real Madrid, with Conte taking over Juventus one year later.
Conte has since led a club coming off the back of consecutive seventh-placed finishes to three successive Serie A trophies and Zanetti says the former Italy international reminds him of Mourinho.
"They [Juventus] did a great thing, having a brilliant consistency," he said of the Old Lady's dominance during an interview with Tuttosport.
"Like [Diego] Simeone, Antonio was also a coach on the field and was able to convey his personality and his determination to the team.
“Jose is unique, but Conte also has his own character. If Juve won three league titles in a row it’s because of him.
“[Marcello] Lippi's Juve had [Zinedine] Zidane and other star players; this group has more."
Zanetti retired at the end of last season after making over 800 official appearances for Inter after joining from Argentine side Banfield in 1995.
The 40-year-old will now take up the sporting director role with the Nerazzurri and hopes he can help Inter return to winning ways.
"It will take time to return," the former Argentina international warned. "There was a change in ownership, many players are new.
"This is the beginning of a new story and you have to build a management team responsible for returning players.
"The coach [Walter Mazzarri] has his own ideas, he realised during his first season what the difficulties at Inter are, but we will now begin a new year with players who know and others that will come. It will be good.”