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Dr Barry Lall

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Barry Lall
Barry Bharat Lall Headshot.jpg
Dr. Bharat Lall
BornBharat Lall
🏡 ResidenceSan Diego, CA
💼 Occupation
President and CEO
📆 Years active  33
🏢 OrganisationPinnacle Hotels USA

Barry Lall is an American entrepreneur, investor and executive. He is the founder, president and chief executive officer of the hotel management company Pinnacle Hotels USA.[1]

Born in a British colony in Africa, Lall attended medical school in Scotland before moving to the United States for his residency and eventually became a family physician in Southern California. Against the desires of his wife and parents, in 1989 he left medicine to pursue entrepreneurship with the purchase of a small coastal motel property.

Today, Lall’s company Pinnacle Hotels USA sees annual revenues of over $40 million, operating nine hotels in California and Texas.

Early Life[edit]

Lall was born in Nyasaland, a British colony in southeastern Africa that is present-day Malawi. His parents, who had immigrated to the country from the Indian state of Gujarat shortly before Lall was born, settled in a small village where his father worked as an elementary school teacher and his mother stayed home to raise Lall and his sister.

In Lall’s teenagerdom his family moved to Zambia where his father opened a clothing store. He has said that contrary to a typical teenager’s opinions he enjoyed being tasked with running the store when his father would go away on business, and has noted it as one of his earliest memories of enjoying the feeling of running a business. Lall has said that like most traditional Indian parents in Africa, his parents wanted him to go into either medicine or engineering, and so by the age of 12 he had already decided to become a doctor.

After completing his high school education Lall moved to England where he attended the historic boarding school King’s School in Gloucester. According to him, adjusting to the academics, culture, and language was difficult and he was made fun of for being vegetarian amongst other things. However, his proficiency in sports saw him made cricket captain and through the team he was able to form friendships.

Although Lall has admitted that he “was not a nerd” and struggled academically, he was able to get into medical school at Gloucester University and graduated in 1979.


Lall’s first job was making briefcases at a luggage factory when he was living in the United Kingdom.

After graduating from medical school Lall moved to Augusta, Georgia to be with his wife Hema who was already living in the United States. Before he began his internship and residency training at Medical College he and Hema took a tour of the country. Lall said that “I was very excited with some of the modern buildings I saw [during that time], and particularly hotels.” He has stated that it was only after moving to America that he was first able to envision becoming a business owner rather than a doctor. Lall even wrote to the owner of the motel he was staying at on campus at Medical College and asked if he would be willing to sell him the property. The owner politely declined.[2]

Lall moved to San Diego, California with his family after finishing his medical training in 1984. He became a family physician with the HMO Kaiser, but he would spend his spare time looking at classified ads for real estate opportunities, focusing on hotels but remaining open to other businesses as well because of the high price associated with coastal areas. He has said that much to his family’s chagrin he considered everything from gas stations to Subways to Baskin Robbins, and that they were worried he would go from being a doctor to serving ice cream cones for the rest of his life.

In 1989, Lall saw an ad in the local newspaper for a beachfront motel that was priced to sell. He immediately packed his family in the car to tour it, and although it was dilapidated and in rundown condition the price was right and the location was very good and so his family gave their tentative approval for him to purchase it. Although banks typically see hotels as a risky asset class, Lall was able to secure a loan thanks to one of his former patients who was general manager of a bank and offered to do the financing for him because of his work as a doctor that she said saved her life.

According to Lall, closing on the property was one of the most joyful and exciting days of his life, and compared those early days with the 12-room motor lodge to having a new baby. He moved into the property so he could be fully immersed in its refurbishment, and even after the hotel was up and running he continued to work at his medical practice during the day then return to the hotel and work the front desk at night. In the beginning he had just a single housekeeper, so if she was unable to come he would wash sheets and make beds himself. Although there was a steep learning curve in the beginning, especially in terms of the financial and business side of things, Lall was eventually able to turn the hotel into a profitable business and finally quit his job as a doctor.

In 1993 during the savings and loans crisis, Lall and two of his friends pulled their resources together along with friends and family money to purchase distressed hotels that were often in foreclosure. Each partner began purchasing in different regions, and Lall bought their first property in the Southwest region, a 170-room hotel in Tucson, Arizona. He again moved to the property but this time with his wife and son as well, converting three of the guest suites into their apartment and did everything from waiting tables to taking guests to the airport. Just four years later, Lall and his partners had amassed nearly 40 hotels in New Mexico, Texas, Kansas City, Missouri, Arizona and California, and in 1998 they sold the majority of the hotels to a Canadian company.

Lall bought out his partners and formed his own hotel company with the remaining properties, incorporating Pinnacle Hotels USA that year. The business model has evolved to focus on the premium brand and full-service market, and today has over 1,800 keys across its nine properties, in addition to seven restaurants with over 600 employees between the hotels and corporate office. Lall no longer directly manages the hotels, turning that over to a third party and today focuses mainly on identifying investment opportunities and running the business itself.

Personal Life[edit]

Lall and his wife Hema established the Lall Family Endowed Scholarship at the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University. The scholarship is awarded annually to a student who demonstrates a passion for the hospitality industry while also facing unique challenges in their lives that their education will aid them in overcoming. He also often does guest speaking events for the school’s incoming students. He has also donated to the Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship Trust Fund and the San Diego Public Library.

Lall is a self-made millionaire. He enjoys walking and hiking along the coast, as well as watching sports such as football, cricket and baseball. He is passionate about health and fitness and began doing Pilates in his 50s. He lives in San Diego, California with his wife Hema Lall who is also executive vice president of the company. They have a son who is also an entrepreneur.