What Makes Kiva Stand Apart?

Kiva pic
Image: kiva.org

A successful investor and hotel regeneration expert who purchases and reinvigorates underperforming hotels as part of his work with Pinnacle Hotels USA, a company he founded in 1998, Bharat Lall brings 20-plus years of hospitality-industry experience to the profession. Also a philanthropist, Bharat Lall supports Kiva, which offers loans to budding entrepreneurs to help them realize their potential.

One of the earliest adopters of crowdfunding technology, which websites like Kickstarter have gone on to make famous, Kiva provides a platform that brings together entrepreneurs and lenders. Entrepreneurs are able to obtain funding from hundreds of small lenders via the platform, while the lenders have the opportunity to invest in projects they really believe in.

This model lowers the fees borrowers often have to contend with when trying to launch projects, while increasing the likelihood of lenders receiving their loans back in full so the same money can be used to help others, either in local communities or locales across the world.

Thus far, the organization, which takes nothing from the funds offered by lenders, has distributed close to $1 billion in loans to borrowers in over 80 countries. Further, the platform has a loan repayment rate of over 97 percent.

The Goals of the San Diego Indian American Society


San Diego Indian American Society pic
San Diego Indian American Society
Image: sdias.org

In his work as president and chief executive officer of Pinnacle Hotels USA, Bharat Lall has dedicated himself to ensuring that all hotels under the Pinnacle banner provide exceptional levels of service to their guests. The company’s inception occurred in 1998 when it started to invest in failing hotels that could potentially be improved under its stewardship. Active in his community, Bharat Lall donates to the Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship Fund overseen by the San Diego Indian American Society. The society was created in 1984 with four aims.

1. To establish the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Scholarship, which would be of benefit to college-age high school graduates in the San Diego area while also memorializing the contributions that Gandhi made to the world.

2. To undertake initiatives that would benefit people both in San Diego and India.

3. To recognize contributions and service by any person to the society, regardless of that person’s field, in India or the United States.

4. To foster a stronger relationship between the United States and India in any way it can.
To reach these goals, the society has expanded its program offerings to include the Chakra Award, granted annually to individuals who have been able to focus their efforts enough to earn distinction for their achievements in any field, and the Unity in Diversity program, which shines a spotlight on Indian culture such as music, drama, and dance.

San Diego Indian American Society’s Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship Program

San Diego Indian American Society pic
San Diego Indian American Society
Image: sdias.org

Before Bharat Lall became president of Pinnacle Hotels, USA, he once worked as one of the staff at a motel. Today, Bharat Lall is a known figure in the hospitality industry. He is also an active member of the San Diego Indian American Society.

The San Diego Indian American Society was established in 1984, and one of its first projects was the Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship program. Named after the Indian political leader, the scholarship program is awarded to students who exemplify academic excellence and active community involvement. Most past recipients have had a 4.0 general grade point average, and were nominated by their respective schools. The scholarship is given to deserving candidates irrespective of their race or ethnic origin.

To date, the San Diego Indian American Society has awarded scholarships to 350 students at the secondary level. These students were also given cash awards, funded through trust-fund interests and contributions of the Indian American community.

Kiva Makes Small, Manageable Loans throughout the World

Kiva pic
Image: kiva.org

As the head of Pinnacle Hotels USA, Bharat Lall, MD, is dedicated to providing excellent customer service at his accommodations. Dr. Bharat Lall donates to several charitable causes, including the Kiva nonprofit lending service.

Founded in 2005, Kiva uses the crowdfunding principle to arrange affordable loans for people in some 88 countries. Intended to lift people out of poverty, Kiva has lent to over 2 million borrowers to help them start businesses, pay for education, or set up clean energy sources.

Getting a loan is straightforward. Borrowers apply either on their own or through Kiva field partners–local nonprofits or micro-lenders who visit prospective recipients and administer loans. The application goes through a due diligence process in which community members and field partners vet the borrower.

Approved loans are translated and listed online, where interested lenders anywhere in the world can provide funds in amounts of $25 or more. Over the years, borrowers have repaid some 97 percent of their obligations.

Neither lenders nor borrowers receive or pay interest. Field partners are allowed to charge a small fee for their administrative costs. Loan disbursals take place through the field partner or through PayPal.

BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha’ Rural Development Initiative

BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha pic
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha
Image: baps.org

Bharat Lall, MD is an Indian-American hotelier and the CEO and President of Pinnacle Hotels USA. In recognition of his heritage, Bharat Lall is a proud supporter of Indian-American initiatives and is a donor at BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.

Founded by influential Indian social worker Bhagwan Swaminarayan, BAPS is a non-profit spiritual volunteer group that is committed to making a better society by instilling the ideals of the Hindu faith, such as unity and altruism, amongst individuals. In keeping with its thrust towards selfless service, BAPS leads a wide range of humanitarian services that provide for several things including education, health, and rural development.

By engaging in rural development activities, BAPS has been helping out various rural communities in improving the quality of its members’ lives. An important aspect of rural development is the development of the agriculture sector, providing farmers the needed education to improve their crops through modern farming techniques and various techniques of water conservation. BAPS also works with the education sector in order to bring vocational skills training to primary and secondary education in order to promote independence at the grassroots level. Moreover, easier access to healthcare is also a prime concern that is being addressed.

The San Diego Public Library’s Services for People with Disabilities

San Diego Public Library pic
San Diego Public Library
Image: sandiego.gov

Dr. Bharat Lall serves as the CEO and president of Pinnacle Hotels USA, Inc., a San Diego-based hospitality corporation that specializes in acquiring underperfoming hotels in strategic locations and helping them generate higher revenue. On top of his executive work at Pinnacle Hotels, Bharat Lall, MD, actively donates to the San Diego Public Library, a disability-friendly space.

Comprised of 35 branches, the San Diego Public Library caters to around 1.3 million people in the San Diego metropolitan area. To provide a safer, more comfortable and inclusive learning environment for all users, the library enables people with disabilities to use its resources through its OliverMcMillan I CAN! Center.

Located on the central library’s first floor, the OliverMcMillan I CAN! Center provides services, programs, and professional assistance to persons with disabilities. This includes two private studies and assistive technology that includes, but is not limited to, enlarged screens, disability-friendly software, and adjustable tables. Apart from these amenities, the center also provides e-readers, Braille books, and digital talking books for library visitors with visual impairments.

These services are available during the library’s operating hours. For more information on the San Diego Public Library’s services, visit www.sandiego.gov/public-library/services.