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  • Writer's pictureChristina Spetzler Gregersen

When an award-winning PhD is simply a part of the journey

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

Written by Christina Spetzler Grergsen, Ph.D. candidate at Deakin University

For many of us, the PhD studies are the beginning of a long and winding academic journey. However, for some people, the PhD is a stopover in their business career. Ágnes, the CEO and co-founder at GraphoPen Ltd., who graduated from Corvinus University of Budapest has been hopping between academia and entrepreneurship. And she does both very well.

From thesis to triumph: A scholar's genesis

As with most of us, Ágnes's academic journey took its first step with her dissertation. Her PhD thesis helped to produce her first paper, Customer Defection due to Service Elimination and Post-elimination Customer Behavior: An Empirical Investigation in Telecommunications,” Co-authored with her supervisors and co-authors Alfred, Kolos, and Warlop. Not only did her very first paper get published in the first targeted journal but it also happened to win the award of the National Academy of Sciences in Hungary.

The heart of Ágnes's research beats in sync with real-world challenges. During her tenure at a prominent telecommunications company, the concept of churn reduction became a focal point of her work. This is where she got the idea to write the award-winning paper.

Highlights from the paper:

The paper yielded several notable findings. Among these, her research highlighted that maintaining a long-term customer relationship, known as tenure, plays a significant role in decreasing the likelihood of customers defecting when prices rise. Moreover, the intensity of service usage and how prices change also affect the chances of customer defection after a service is discontinued. Agnes's work demonstrated that age can be a factor in reducing the likelihood of customers leaving when prices increase. Additionally, she identified that higher post-elimination usage is associated with increased prices and decreased interaction intensity. Furthermore, she found that increased post-elimination usage is linked to both customer defection and competitive market influences.

Read the paper

Interested in reading all the details about service elimination? Read the full paper here.

Want to cite the paper?

Somosi, A., Stiassny, A., Kolos, K., & Warlop, L. (2021). Customer defection due to service elimination and post-elimination customer behavior: An empirical investigation in telecommunications. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 38(4), 915-934.

The pen that helps make life easier

As someone who flirts between academia and industry, Ágnes’s new passion is in the realm of entrepreneurship. In 2022 she co-founded a company called GraphoPen. GraphoPen is an invention she came up with when she was a child, it’s a fully integrated hardware and software handwriting analysis system.

The GraphoPen can help with tracking personality traits, your mood changes and also the early diagnosis of patients, check the side effects of medications, and become a compliance support for the long term. Intriguing, yes? If you would like to know more, then follow her on her LinkedIn page.

The Future Awaits

As we peer into the horizon, Ágnes’s focus remains on being an entrepreneur and innovating new products.


Meet Ágnes


Ágnes Somosi

CEO & Co-founder at GraphoPen Ltd.

Ph.D. in Services Marketing

Who is the researcher, from any field you would like to sit to lunch with, what would you say to him/her?

I feel deeply privileged to have had the chance to connect with all of my academic heroes, even if it's been in the virtual realm. Our conversations and interactions have enriched my understanding of the academic landscape in profound ways. However, there's a unique magic in face-to-face encounters, and I eagerly anticipate the day when we can gather around a table for a meal and engage in discussions that transcend the confines of technology.

What is the number one question you hope to answer during your career?

"The reason why I am here." This question serves as her guiding beacon, driving her relentless pursuit of purpose and meaning in her academic and entrepreneurial journey.


This article was written by

Dr. Christina Spetzler Gregersen,

Research fellow at Deakin University, Australia

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