EMBA Metro NY students take teamwork to the next level with business ideation

By: Chris Marino, EMBA Metro NY ’20
Chris Marino, Anand Narayan, and Shady Henien

Recent Cornell Executive MBA Metro NY program graduates Anand Narayan (top right), Chris Marino (left), and Dr. Shady Henien (bottom right)

As we’ve come to the conclusion of the Cornell Executive MBA Metro NY program, we are grateful for how our newly gained education has changed our lives. When we first began the program, the thought of starting a business seemed like something that was out of reach; however, our program positioned us for success by introducing us to a rigorous curriculum and a talented network of students and faculty.

Connecting personal and professional experience with classroom lessons

After taking NBAE 6830 – Innovation and New Venture Creation taught by Steve Gal, senior lecturer, we quickly learned that it is possible to create a winning business. We learned the importance of identifying a “hair on fire” customer problem, launching an MVP model to solve that need, and then co-creating the business with customers along the way. It also gave us the opportunity to work as a team where we brought together complementary sets of skills and knowledge. My Class of 2020 classmates, Dr. Shady Henien and Anand Narayan, and I have worked together for the past year and have enjoyed getting to know each other. Beyond just the personal relationship that we developed from the residential aspect of the EMBA Metro NY program, we gravitate toward each other professionally.

Through the relationship we built, Dr. Henien brought us an idea that would change our lives as we knew them. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all witnessed the devastating effect of a broken healthcare system. The idea of patients feeling isolated because a virus has impacted their quality of life really spoke to us. As awareness of telemedicine has increased through the COVID-19 crisis, we felt like this was an opportune time to launch a company that could positively impact society and improve the holistic telemedicine experience.

Launching Physician Promise and improving telemedicine

With Dr. Henien’s background as a board-certified physician, Narayan’s experience scaling his family’s technology company, and my nine years of marketing experience at American Express, we felt uniquely positioned to take advantage of the skills that we had developed to launch Physician Promise. Physician Promise aims to provide personalized and affordable healthcare via a proprietary telemedicine platform that enhances the patient experience via ease of use, value, and community. We created this platform because everyone deserves the promise of improving their health.

The marketplace is ripe for disruption; Physician Promise is one of the first companies founded by physicians that looks to take a holistic approach to improve a patient’s quality of life via telemedicine. Our services focus on couples and personal relationships—we want to help others develop lifelong relationships and help alleviate common medical problems that many patients suffer from through personalized treatment, content, community, and medication.

An evolving journey

Every day is a learning experience, whether it’s creating a business model, identifying partnerships, or developing an externally facing brand. Our ambition is to humanize digital healthcare in a way where people become comfortable with the uncomfortable. As we pitch our business model to investors, we are looking to scale our company in a meaningful way.

Through the support of the Cornell community, each day our dream of a transformed healthcare system becomes more of a reality. We’re grateful for the education we received and for the journey we have ahead of us.

Chris Marino

Chris Marino, EMBA Metro NY ’20

Chris Marino is currently the chief marketing officer of Physician Promise and is focused on developing an externally facing brand and digital customer acquisition strategy. Prior to working with Physician Promise, he spent nine years at American Express leading a number of digital marketing transformations.