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Snigdha Sur on Building for the South Asian Diaspora
Episode 59th September 2020 • A Media Operator • Jacob Cohen Donnelly
00:00:00 00:50:12

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Snigdha Sur, Founder & CEO of The Juggernaut, always knew she wanted to be in media. She now runs a subscription media company that is dedicated to creating "smart journalism for the South Asian diaspora” called The Juggernaut.

In this episode, we discussed a ton, but a few things jumped out…

Niche can scale

Under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t expect to see a media company in Y Combinator, an accelerator for traditional tech startups. However, for a variety of reasons, they decided to have Snigdha join the program.

One of the things she said that resonates with me is that niche can actually scale. We think of niche as small, but these verticalized media companies have the potential to really grow into something robust. Part of the way to think about that is about content appearing in multiple places, including on the website, newsletter, podcasts, video & TV deals and various other opportunities.

A classic example that she used is BET, which serves a specific community. Viacom bought BET in 2001 for $3 billion. It was a niche play, but that didn’t hold it back from reaching incredible scale.

On lifetime subscribers & Thursday customer calls

Unlike many media companies, The Juggernaut offers the option for people to purchase a lifetime subscription. For $249.99, you will never not have access to The Juggernaut. It’s an interesting experiment and one that Snigdha is really a fan of in a limited sense.

As she explained, these are the most die hard of supporters. They’re people that really care about the brand and what it stands for. They’re also people that she sometimes uses to bounce ideas off, whether that’s sharing content ahead of time or perhaps taking a look at the upcoming app.

The other part of this is her ritual of taking 5-10 customer calls every Thursday. She wants to hear from people and get their thoughts on how The Juggernaut is doing; the good and the bad.

Audience development with Instagram

I teased this out on Twitter, but I am a big fan of The Juggernaut’s Instagram strategy. Using a tool called, they are effectively able to create a clone of The Juggernaut’s Instagram page. Every time they share a new photo, they include three paragraphs of text and then a “link in bio.”

That link in bio is a URL that then shows all the same images the user had seen previously. This time, though, when a user clicks one of those images, it takes them to the individual story page. It’s a great way to distribute content on a platform that is otherwise not very friendly with distributing content.