Derived from the Sanskrit word "Jagannath," juggernaut means a massive force, campaign, movement, or object. The story of Jagannath, a Hindu god, was brought to Europe in the 14th century and used in American newspapers as early as 1864. As the lore of Jagannath, “lord of the world,” spread, the word juggernaut came to refer to any “enormous entity with powerful crushing capabilities.” In naming ourselves The Juggernaut we honor the word’s South Asian roots and the unstoppable force we believe South Asia(ns) to be.
The Juggernaut is a premium publication and community that publishes smart takes and well-reported stories about South Asia and South Asians. We call it “smart journalism for the South Asian diaspora” though we welcome all readers who are curious about our stories.
We are starting with one new story every weekday and have now published well over 200 features, covering everything from politics to culture to tech. Our goal is to celebrate our heritage but also challenge and unlearn what our history books and community have gotten wrong.
We are thoughtful in everything we do — from choosing fonts created by South Asians to paying our writers and illustrators responsibly — and have been featured in TechCrunch, Axios, Forbes, CNBC, Harvard Business School blog, and Yale.
We're funded by Y Combinator, Precursor Ventures, Backstage Capital, New Media Ventures, Old Town Media, and several other investors who are supportive of our mission and do not have editorial input. We're also funded by our readers, who pay monthly, annual, or lifetime subscription fees. Lastly, we are currently owned by our team. Read more on our editorial independence here.
South Asians are the fastest growing demographic in the United States and the world’s largest diaspora but when Snigdha, The Juggernaut’s founder, was growing up in New York, being Indian wasn't cool. Western media focused largely on South Asia's poverty and stereotypes but that didn’t compute.
To make sense of what was going on in South Asia itself, and with South Asians nationally, Snigdha wrote a weekly email newsletter reflecting on the best articles about South Asia(ns). But linking to other publications soon wasn't enough. She wanted coverage she wasn't seeing. So she dove into figuring out what it would take to start a new publication with original, reported stories. She called it The Juggernaut.
Media is difficult. People like free. But free, ad-supported content often leads to clickbait articles that are low in quality. Ad revenue doesn’t responsibly support the costs associated with publishing an article (not even The New York Times can survive on ad revenue alone). We launched behind a paywall because it allows us to pay our writers and artists well and quickly. It also allows us to invest in better journalism. If you have additional questions about this, please don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.
Snigdha has worked at McKinsey and advised BuzzFeed, Quartz, Amazon Studios, Scroll.in, and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. She got her MBA at Harvard, studied Economics & South Asian Studies at Yale, and spent five months coding at Flatiron School. She was born in Chhattisgarh, India; grew up in the Bronx and Queens, New York; and has worked and lived in Mumbai, India. She can speak Hindi, Bengali, and Mandarin. She loves Bollywood and reading novels.
Shelley is a recent transplant to New York where she works on building things to help grow The Juggernaut. Shelley has been working in product and engineering roles at early-stage startups, including Cambly and Storyworth, ever since she graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in computer science and human-centered design. Shelley likes to travel and read, often at the same time.
The Juggernaut tells untold, smart South Asian stories and news you won't find anywhere else.
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