This blog is a part of our series highlighting and celebrating Women founders within the subscription industry. With thousands of SUBTA members, we’re proud to tell their stories. Other blogs in this series include Erica Alfonzetti’s journey within the automotive industry and Chelsie Lee, who helped pivot a subscription box company in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
From working with subscription data and affiliate marketing at Amazon to becoming a subscription CEO, Simran Dua is a powerhouse of knowledge and ingenuity. Today, she serves as the CEO of My Subscription Addiction (MSA). However, her path here was windy, unexpected, and full of valuable lessons that she has since brought into the subscription industry.
Dua’s wealth of experience has taught her that data is important, but not nearly as important as combining that data with human intuition. She’s learned that striking a balance between objective data and the subjective human condition plays a big role in subscription success.
Read on to learn more about Dua’s journey to the top of the subscription industry.
From Amazon to My Subscription Addiction CEO
Dua’s path to the top of MSA began in unexpected industries. “I started my career in project management during the Bank One acquisition,” says Dua. “I parlayed that into investment banking. Then, I parlayed my investment banking into a consumer insights role at Unilever.”
Her wide range of experiences gave her valuable insight that would inspire her future success.
“You don’t need a degree to change jobs in the business world.”
– Simran Dua
For more than two years, Dua worked in consumer insights at Unilever, where she provided several household brands with product strategies that would drive sales. “After a while, I felt that physical products took too long to launch and I wanted to launch digital products,” says Dua. “So I went after a role at Amazon” – thus beginning her journey in subscription data and services.
From 2014 to 2020, while working at Amazon, she held roles in multiple departments. She began by building out customer experiences within the Kindle platform that made books and quotes as easily shareable as song lyrics.
Eventually, Dua switched to the Amazon Associates team where she envisioned a way for affiliates to break into the physical retail market. “I took that affiliate background and also parlayed it into launching what became Amazon IRL, which were pop-up stores with direct to consumer brands,” says Dua.
“I was seeing how these direct-to-consumer brands were looking to work with the Subscribe & Save team and other different teams within Amazon,” she explains. “They wanted the Prime shipping and other perks, which crystallized how the subscription model is really a give-and-take relationship and the relationship needs to be maintained with care.”
Dua’s array of experiences at Amazon turned out to be the perfect training ground for her current role as CEO at My Subscription Addiction, a site which has reviewed many subscriptions and is known for helpful reviews to help you find the best subscription boxes around. Now, in a role that Dua describes as “rebuilding the plane while reangling it towards the sky,” she is guiding an eight-year-old company through its rebirth to new heights.
Lessons Learned Along the Way
The most important of the many lessons Dua has learned over the years is that subscription is more than just getting people to pay a recurring fee. In reality, cultivating long-term relationships is what the industry is all about.
“To me, it was more about the desire for brands to be able to build a long-term relationship with customers. And that’s just music to my ears,” says Dua. “We should no longer be in the business of one-time transactions as our primary goal. Subscriptions are really asking for an even greater commitment.”
Gaining and maintaining trust is key. After all, the businesses that keep the customer’s trust are the businesses that win.
“When you take a step back and you look at the actual data, you see the value of subscriptions in people’s lives,” says Dua. “If a person is won over by a subscription, it’s like you’ve earned a place in their lives and you’ve gifted them back a piece of their mental real estate so they no longer have to choose a brand everytime they need your product.”
Is Subscription Data King (or Queen)?
Although subscription data plays a major role in subscription success, it’s far from the be-all-end-all of the industry. In fact, subscription data is simply a tool for making intuitive, human-centric decisions.
Dua favors two data points to make sound, customer-centric decisions. In particular, she examines repeat visitors as well as the site’s revenue per session (RPV), which, together, allow her to gauge the value a brand brings its customers.
Downward trends in either of these subscription data points may signal that a brand needs to make a change.
Looking to the Future of My Subscription Addiction
With Dua at the helm, My Subscription Addiction is returning to readers a sense of child-like wonder. Readers can actually see all of their options and choose the subscription that they want.
As the “gatekeeper to customers’ trust,” Dua sees it as MSA’s duty to foster an authentic connection with customers. In line with this same sense of duty, she understands the importance of truly hearing customer concerns. When there’s an issue, MSA reaches out to the merchant to address the problem and find a solution.
In the future, Dua hopes to see MSA as the best-in-class for delivering high value not only to shoppers looking for a subscription but also to brands looking for subscribers. To realize this hope, MSA has a lot in the works.
Expanding the team, shaping the culture, and thinking for the future are just a few ways My Subscription Addiction is working to become the subscription brand discovery destination.