Vincent Ta is a solution architect working in Alcatel-Lucent, whose work evolves around the telecom industry, bringing new and better technologies and telecom solutions. He is also a Milaap lender. We asked him a few questions, and this is what he had to say.
How did you get to hear about Milaap?
I cannot quite remember, but i think it was a link on Facebook, advertised by Microfinance Society.
Why do you lend on Milaap?
I think Milaap gives me the impression that real help can be rendered to these people, and it comes across as a trustworthy organization, hence my decision to lend.
Is there any particular sector on Milaap you regularly lend to? If yes, why?
Honestly I have not really lent enough :) and I do not have any strong preferences (all of them needed help) but if you ask me to choose one, I will support the entrepreneur sector, because with jobs people get their living allowances which can be used for other purpose (building a toilet, co-funding the village irrigation project etc)
Who/what inspired you to do what you do now?
As mentioned before, I am a solution architect working in Alcatel-Lucent, and my work evolves around the telecom industry, bringing new and better technologies and telecom solutions to carriers like Bharti, RIL, SingTel etc and the general population. I would hope that what I do can enhances the communication experiences of people through their phones or other devices.
If you were to change it, what would you do instead? Why?
If I am not in my current profession (cross my fingers my boss will not see this), it would be hard for me to decide since I am a very fickle-minded person. I would go back to school and my 1st choice would be a profession in the games industry (i'm a self-professed game freak - no, actually i love the creativity that is in the industry, although in reality it is harder to practice what you hope to practice) and my 2nd choice would be a career in social business engineering. (Sometimes I wish that young adults can be more well informed of the choices they have during their schooling days or even before that, so that when they embark on a career which is for life, they will not have 2nd thoughts. Of course, there are other circumstances to consider, maybe some families are more cash-strapped hence choice of education is also limited.)
Any question for us?
Q: Is Milaap only constrained at this point to helping the poor in India? Are there plans to branch out in other countries like Myanmar, Cambodia, Pakistan etc. Are there plans to carry out big infrastructure projects like the Barefoot college (bunker roy) to support more people?
A: At this point, yes, our focus is India. But who knows, as we grow, we definitely want to continue impacting more and more people's lives, so this may be an option.
Any thoughts or interesting thing you would like to share with us and our supporters?
Again on hindsight (from my mid-life crisis perspective), I hope more parents can strive to be more well-informed and play a part in contributing to their children's "destiny", by feeding them with knowledge and guiding them to make their own decision on what they want to do with their lives. A lot of children might not acknowledge the effort by the parents (young children are just interested in what makes them happy, short-term wise), but I believe the imprints will be left enrooted in their young minds, and the effects will be felt much later, hopefully at the right stage when they need to make crucial decisions. Happiness is in what you do anyway (spirituality/religious life is another matter altogether). and of course, Children are our future, and happy children = happy adults = a better world, right? :D
Thank you so much for your thoughts Vincent!