A trained physician, Bharat Lall, MD, worked in medicine for a number of years before founding Pinnacle Hotels USA in 1998. Outside of his work in the hospitality industry, Dr. Bharat Lall contributes to Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a nonprofit group that helps students prepare for college and other opportunities after high school.
Each summer, AVID oversees its annual Summer Institutes, a professional development program that provides training to thousands of teachers every year. In 2016, Avid will hold Summer Institutes in 10 cities across the United States, including San Diego, Denver, Philadelphia, and Orlando.
Registration will soon open for the upcoming 2016 Summer Institutes season, which will kick off in Honolulu on June 6. AVID will then move the three-day seminars to the continental United States, where 11 more will be held throughout June, July, and August.
In addition to other training activities, the Summer Institutes will feature student and educator speakers discussing their experiences with AVID strategies in the classroom. Those who wish to speak at one of the 2016 sessions can enter AVID’s speaker contest, which is currently accepting submissions. Each contest winner will receive $500 in cash as well as complimentary registration or travel and lodging.
Since 1998, Dr. Bharat Lall has led as founding president and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA. Having expanded the company’s portfolio to include eight hotels across three states, Bharat Lall, MD, continues to follow the industry closely to promote company growth.
As the calendar year shifts, experts have begun to put forth suggestions as to what the hospitality industry will see throughout 2016. One of the major social trends that has impacted hospitality is the Millennial focus on the group experience, which has manifested both in a shift toward alternative accommodations and a desire for hotels that encourage interpersonal connections. Though sharing accommodation websites have taken some customers away from the traditional hotel market, savvy hospitality owners have continued to appeal to Millennials with the development of open common spaces that make hotel stays a social experience.
Digital and social media marketing also stand out as an increasingly salient influence on hotels’ success. Live streaming video is beginning to emerge as the most influential type of media on the younger customer, though customer reviews on social media also have a significant impact on buying behaviors. Customers are also expecting companies to engage them directly, which means that the most successful hotels are likely to be those brands that reach out on social media and respond to on-the-go customers’ needs with mobile technology tools.
A longtime hotel investor with considerable experience in San Diego, California, Dr. Bharat Lall currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Hotels USA. Under the leadership of Bharat Lall, MD, Pinnacle Hotels USA oversees a collection of hotels throughout the United States, including several in the San Diego area.
First-time visitors to San Diego should place La Jolla Cove high on their list of places to visit. A small beach sandwiched between picturesque sandstone cliffs, La Jolla Cove currently is as one of the most photographed beaches in all of Southern California. The beach benefits from relatively small surf during the summer months, opening up its waters for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Atypical of the Pacific Ocean, La Jolla Cove features high levels of water visibility, sometimes exceeding 30 feet. La Jolla Cove sits on the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve, which works to maintain healthy levels of marine life in the surrounding area.
As the president and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA, Dr. Bharat Lall directs the company in investing in underperforming hotels to increase their net operating income and correct underlying issues. Bharat Lall, MD, leads the company with an emphasis on quality service and customer satisfaction.
Successful management of any hotel requires an understanding of guest expectations. Hospitality experts suggest the following strategies to keep guests happy and increase hotel stature.
1. Good first impressions will help guests feel welcomed and comfortable walking into a hotel, but establishments that follow up with guests by keeping them informed of its amenities and offers can potentially gain lifelong customers. In addition, make sure to focus on reliable service and prompt attention to guest needs.
2. Guests want to feel comfortable and safe when they stay overnight at any hotel. Security measures should include established emergency plans that account for fire evacuations, emergency response, and management of violence, theft, and crime scenes. Also ensure that emergency kits remain well-stocked and equipment remains in working order.
3. Staying informed on what amenities guests want or need during their hotel stay–and making an effort to offer those amenities–can improve a hotel’s reputation and increase guest satisfaction. For instance, a 2014 survey concerning guest expectations of hotels demonstrated that, on average, guests would pay more for amenities such as internet connection and comfortable beds.
4. Developing partnerships with surrounding businesses can provide mutual benefits for both parties. Advertisements, coupons, and recommendations can lead to increased business exposure and positive customer experiences.
5. Accepting customer feedback helps customers feel like their opinions matter, and the more they feel heard, the more willing they become to stay at the same location again in the future. Use complaints as opportunities for improvement.
Over the course of his real estate investment career, Dr. Bharat Lall has purchased and sold more than 70 hotels. Bharat Lall, MD, closely follows hotel valuation trends and market changes in his role as founder and president of California-based Pinnacle Hotels.
The hospitality industry typically uses one of three approaches to determine the market value of a hotel. The most common, the income capitalization approach, operates on the underlying assumption that a hotel’s value stems from its ability to produce revenue. Appraisers who use this method may employ either the direct capitalization method, which looks at a property’s current income, or the discounted cash flow method, which analyzes income over a specified time frame. Because the hospitality industry can change dramatically from year to year, many experts strongly prefer discounted cash flow when estimating future value.
Appraisers may also determine the value of a property using the direct comparison approach, which looks at multiple hotels’ comparative values using a single data point. For example, an appraiser may use price per room to rank properties by sale value. This method tends to work best as a secondary technique, as hotels can differ widely in the features that contribute to value. Alternatively, the cost approach uses land and property values to estimate the capital value of a location. Because this total can change with altering depreciation, this method is more commonly used in determining value for insurance purposes rather than for investors, buyers, or sellers.
A former practicing physician, Bharat Lall, MD, transitioned from a life in medicine to a career in the hospitality sector more than two decades ago. Dr. Bharat Lall now heads Pinnacle Hotels USA as chief executive officer, managing nearly 10 premier hotels in California, Texas, and Ohio.
Technology innovation has significantly changed how hotels manage their business, guests, and services. From launching websites that allow guests to search for rooms online to using apps to take reservations and share special packages, hotel owners continue to turn increasingly to technology to promote their businesses. Net Affinity, a full-service marketing firm specializing in the hotel sector, recently shared its top technology trends for hotels in 2015. These include the following:
1. Hotels will employ a more personalized web experience. Analyzing data about customer search and purchase behaviors, hotels will craft a platform that anticipates what a guest may be interested in and generate applicable content for easy and customized viewing.
2. Mobile payment options will rise. Following in the footsteps of the online retail industry, where alternative methods of payment through services like PayPal account for one in four transactions, the hotel sector will move toward more mainstream mobile payment options in an effort to increase revenue by offering guests improved convenience.
3. Proximity technology will be leveraged to send rich media messages to potential customers in specific locations. With 91 percent of the smartphone user population always in arm’s reach of their phones, hotels looking for growth should consider identifying locations for such marketing activities.
A graduate of the University of Glasgow, Bharat Lall earned his MD and then spent many years as a practicing physician. Later, Dr. Bharat Lall turned to business and founded a hospitality corporation in San Diego known as Pinnacle Hotels USA. Alongside his career, he donates through Kiva.
As a nonprofit dedicated to providing opportunities for underserved members of communities across the globe, Kiva works with microfinance institutions to supply loans to those without access to regular banking systems. The organization relies on funds from donors, and 100 percent of these funds go to the borrowers, who can use the money to launch their own businesses and then pay back the loans.
The Ebola epidemic in West Africa, however, has affected several partners. Many lenders have responded generously, asking if they can simply forgive the loans. Kiva’s response has included a decision to extend a four-month grace period across the region. The organization believes in allowing borrowers to pay back their loans if possible.
For more information about Kiva and its efforts, visit http://www.kiva.org. The organization’s blog, which can be accessed through the main site, includes further details, as well as links to organizations countering the Ebola outbreak.