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People – Our Most Important Asset

As well as the quality of specialist expertise it offers, the EMBA HSG stands out for the access it provides to an enriching network. Personal contact with fellow participants, lecturers, executives and wider network of contacts is always at the fore – as a student, and as a graduate within the scope of the university’s alumni organisation. The diverse range of participants enables you to build up an exciting network of cross-industry and, crucially, long-term contacts.

Student profile

Function
53% Head of Department
13% Director
13% Project Leader
9% Bord of Directors
6% Team Leader
2% Owner/Partner
2% CEO
2% Other
Education Field
30%
Engineering
26%
Business Administration
21%
Economics
4%
Humanities & Social
4%
Law
4%
Medicine
4%
Natural Science
6%
Other
Job Area
22% General Management
13% Sales
9% Business Administration
4% Accounting
4% Controlling/Quality
4% Engineering
4% Information Technology
2% Corporate Finance
2% Legal
2% Marketing & Communication
2% Operations
2% Strategy
2% Supply Chain
26% Other
Origin
36% Switzerland
20% Germany
6% Italy
4% Belgium
4% Brasil
4% Bulgaria
4% Denmark
4% India
4% Russia
2% Austria
2% France
2% Greece
2% Kenya
2% Syria
2% Sweden
2% Ukraine
Company size
62% Large company
23% Medium-sized company
15% Small company
Education Level
47% Master
28% Bachelor
11% PhD
15% Other
Gender
72%
Male
28%
Female
The student data stem form August 2016

Interviews with EMBA HSG Alumnis

Lorenz Eymann, Alumni EMBA HSG

Lorenz Eymann graduated from the Executive MBA HSG in May 2013. From 2008 to 2015 he headed up the Private Label und Co-Manufacturing segment at Maestrani Schweizer Schokoladen AG, developing it into the company’s fastest growing division. Since January 2016 he has been CEO of Translingua AG.

Lorenz Eymann grew up in the Swiss canton of Lucerne. After completing a commercial apprenticeship he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lucerne School of Business. Eymann then worked as a consultant to small businesses in El Salvador for three years. During this time he successfully restructured a cashew plant and opened up access to export markets in North America and Europe for the plant and other local operations. He then worked at Pronatec AG where he was responsible for the purchasing, processing and trading of organic cocoa and sugar.

You are CEO of Translingua – what are the biggest challenges you face in this role?

Translingua AG was founded 40 years ago by HSG graduate Alberto Meyer and has been a runaway success ever since. I have the greatest respect for this entrepreneurial achievement. The task is to maintain the very high quality standards and build on the company’s established market position. Our aim is to keep on growing by providing high-quality, specialised translations.

With regard to the possibility of pure machine translation in the future, it will still take a long time until a piece of software can even come close to replicating what I see our translation professionals producing every day in terms of tone, a way with words, regional emphasis, irony and passion. But I do see major potential in the digitalisation of processes and simplifying document exchange.

You worked at Maestrani before moving to Translingua. What led you to make this change?

At Maestrani I was able to develop new strategies and implement them. We successfully entered attractive niche segments in an extremely difficult market. After more than 10 exciting years in the food and consumer goods sector, in which I learned a great deal, I felt the need to apply my expertise to a new environment. My passion for languages and cultures meant I was really interested in working in the translation industry. Now the dream has come true and I can combine my interests with my work. In addition, in Translingua I found exactly the company I was looking for in terms of matching my own strengths: a focus on quality leadership, implementation of innovation projects and opening up new market segments.

It is three years since you graduated from the EMBA HSG programme. What added value do you still draw from attending the programme, and which module have you been able to get the most from?

The focus on innovation and entrepreneurship still frequently gives me the support I need to forge new paths and step into unknown terrain. The module I benefited the most from was Strategic Management. The content of that module was definitely another reason why I did not only take on the role of CEO at Translingua, but also invested in the company myself.

What were the reasons behind your decision to take the EMBA HSG?

The subjects covered, the big-name lecturers, the high quality network and the reputation of the EMBA HSG.

Complete the following sentences:

If I were not CEO at Translingua, I would be… the founder of a food import start-up.

The most defining decision of my career was… to spend three years as a consultant developing companies in Central America.

For me happiness means… being healthy and having the chance to live a fulfilling life in a privileged country.

For me the Executive MBA HSG was… a systematic step that helped me advance professionally and as a person.

I would be glad to read the following headline to a story about Translingua: Leading Swiss Specialist Translator Continues Growth Trajectory

Read the Interview

Jas Chahal and Parag Dasai, Alumni GEMBA HSG

Imagine a marketplace for physiotherapy. A place where patients can search and evaluate the perfect therapist for their personal need based on price, patient rating and therapist profiles. We had the chance to talk to Jas Chahal and Parag Desai, co-founders of therapia.com and alumni of the Global Executive MBA HSG.

What is the concept behind “Therapia”?

Therapia is a marketplace for healthcare and in its current form functions as an online platform that connects patients with physiotherapists in the comfort of their own home. Patients have the choice of provider based on price, location, user ratings, biography and their personal schedule. Physiotherapists have the opportunity to increase their earnings and benefit from the scheduling, marketing, and electronic medical record features that Therapia has to offer. The goal was to empower patients and practitioners while providing the best healthcare possible.

Who are the people behind “Therapia”?

Therapia has six cofounders. Four of these individuals are alumni of the OMNIUM / Global Executive MBA programme of the University of St. Gallen – Jas and I are both practicing physicians while Ambles Kwok and Luca Fornoni provide technical and financial expertise, respectively. Two additional cofounders, Adam Brown and Joon Nah, were recruited for their extensive business development experience in this vertical. For more information on the team, please visit therapia.com.

How did you develop the initial idea?

Traveling internationally through various continents as part of our Global MBA experience, we interacted with many colleagues, businesses, and cultures that built upon our academic and personal knowledge. This experience highlighted the shortcomings of the medical industry; a systemic disconnect in patient care. Over the course of our travels, we experienced novel methods in which global trends, technology, and customer engagement was integrated by other industries. As healthcare providers we felt our industry was in dire need of similar disruption.
Personal experiences over the course of our travel also laid the foundation to Therapia. In Hong Kong we could summon On-Demand car services via Uber, Airbnb allowed us to find a condo close to the financial district, and across China one of the founders used Skype to check in on his post-operative patient in Toronto. It was obvious that customer convenience and autonomy seemed to always be an underlying theme worldwide.
After becoming aware of a variety of macro trends including decentralization of services in many industries, the increasing movement of healthcare away from the hospital and into the home, an oversupply of human capital in the physiotherapy space, and patients wanting greater autonomy and flexibility in their care, the home healthcare marketplace concept was born.

Has it always been part of your plan to found a company?

Yes. We always had idea fragments that we were never able to operationalize or implement pre MBA. Entering Omnium, as healthcare providers we expected to learn the language of business so that we could put pen to paper connecting these idea fragments in new and creative ways. Our goal was to take an idea, nurture it via the MBA, and have generate early revenue before graduation!

How did that influence your decision making?

Our desire to found a company encouraged the pursuit of the Omnium programme due to its emphasis on leadership and applied innovation and entrepreneurship.

When did you realise, that the idea is worth founding a start-up?

During our European Module in St. Gallen, one of our courses was Entrepreneurship with Tomas Casas. The core of that course was to develop and pitch an idea to a panel of “investors”. This practical experience allowed us to fine tune our model for a succinct pitch, allowing us to obtain “free” feedback from classmates, professors, and the panel. Our pitch was ranked first by the “VC’s” on that day and really served as a driving force to purse this idea moving forward.

Which have been your biggest challenges concerning “Therapia” so far?

Our greatest challenge is being able to dedicate fulltime availability to the start-up while also balancing our personal and job related responsibilities.

Start-ups generally don’t let much space for hobbies and family. How do you manage your personal work-life balance?

As mentioned with the previous question, the personal work-life balance can be a challenge. Obviously some things can suffer to compensate for the other. We could not do what we do without the support of our families. In the past, we had hobbies related to playing and watching sports and travelling. While we continue to remain active, our hobby and passion has become our startup. Nonetheless, it is a necessity to carve out dedicated time for the people important in our lives, both for them and for our personal gratification.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

The most exciting part of this journey has been developing a product that is allowing us to change the way healthcare is delivered. Moving forward, being agile and creating a strategy to grow and succeed remains both exciting and challenging.

When founding your company, which knowledge did you lack most and how did you acquire it?

The applied innovation process allowed us to develop a methodology where we could gather information, connect dots in new and creative ways, and develop solutions in various plausible futures. Experimentation and reiteration allowed for ongoing refinement of an initial MVP that continues to change as we gather data and feedback. Even post MBA, the learning continues in terms of analytics and growth hacking. The foundation in innovation and entrepreneurship from the Executive MBA, however, has been invaluable.

Which learnings from your Omnium GEMBA HSG studies where most helpful for this project?

As discussed, the Entrepreneurship course, in conjunction with courses in Innovation and Capstone have allowed us to think differently in the context of a structured framework that encourages thinking big, thinking differently, and moving forward in a lean and agile way based on data and feedback.

Which part of the studies had the most impact on you?

Most impactful was a subsets of experiences in the above courses. In Entrepreneurship we had the opportunity and coaching by Tomas Casas to go through the process of a “real” startup pitch. In Innovation, our greatest takeaway was recognizing the “ahah” moment as studied in “Connectivate”, and finally for Capstone the “Pirates Marketing Funnel” has been integral in fine-tuning our strategy to grow.

Why did you decide to study in the Omnium GEMBA HSG programme?

Outside of the obvious exemplarily academic experience that was expected with this dual programme, it was an opportunity to learn the business language, cultivate our burning desire to innovate, disrupt, and evolve, as well as travel the world in order to appreciate the culture and business diversity that exists.

What is your connection to the medical sector?

Four of our founders are in the healthcare industry. Adam and Joon are physiotherapists with significant industry knowledge and 15 years of experience in business development, marketing and operations. Parag and I are both physicians. I am a sports medicine orthopaedic surgeon working at the University of Toronto. Parag is an emergency medicine physician in USA, and a primary care physician in the Toronto area.

How was the reaction of the industry to your App?

We are still getting feedback from the industry, but so far it has been very positive. We have been growing every month and the early traction at this stage demonstrates good product-market fit.

Which advice do you have to future founders and / or start-ups?

We would say that creating a team you love to work with is very important. The culture to innovate and grow is driven by passion and hard work so finding like-minded yet diverse and complementary individuals allows for a fun journey. Also, focusing on analytics and growth hacking gives you a framework to move forward, pivot, iterate, and hopefully succeed.

 What are the next steps for Therapia? How does the near future look like?

Therapia launched in May 2016. Next steps include expanding to additional Canadian cities in the next six months and into the United States. Ongoing iteration of our online platform, the development of a mobile app, and raising capital are also on the short-term horizon.

 

_______

Jas Chahal is a sports medicine orthopaedic surgeon working at the University of Toronto.
Parag Desai is an emergency medicine physician in USA, and a primary care physician in the Toronto area.

They are two of six co-founders of the platform therapia.com.
The Idea for the start-up rose while studying the Global Executive MBA HSG at the University of St.Gallen.

Read the Interview

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