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March 30, 2012

ULM LSBDC consultant earns Certified Export Counselor designation

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at the University of Louisiana at Monroe is pleased to announce that Virendra Chhikara, business consultant for the LSBDC at ULM, has received designation as a Certified Export Counselor.

Chhikara, a native of Haryana, India, will provide specialized assistance including consulting and training to small- and medium-sized businesses interested in developing or expanding their export business opportunities.

"My goal is to help make it easier to do business globally," said Chhikara. "While exporting offers new avenues for small businesses to grow, it also increases the Gross Domestic Product which will help generate more jobs and revenue for the domestic market.

According to the LSBDC, Chhikara is one of the few certified international trade consultants in Louisiana.

Chhikara has nearly 10 years of research, technology and business development experience.

Prior to joining the LSBDC, he was a research scientist for two pharmaceutical companies in India.

There he was responsible for method development and validation for pharmaceutical drugs and FDA approval.

In 2007, Chhikara joined the LSBDC network as a graduate assistant while pursuing a master's of business administration degree at ULM.

In 2009, he became a full-time Business Consultant for the LSBDC at ULM.

In addition to his MBA, Chhikara has a master's in analytical chemistry and a bachelor's in chemistry from Jiwaji University in Gwalior (Madhdya Pradesh) India.

Chhikara continued, "The encouragement that I received from Dr. Dunn, the LSBDC Center director, the staff, and the LSBDC State Office has been instrumental in my development as a trade specialist."

The LSBDC will conduct a free workshop for business owners and others interested in attracting customers and increasing sales through exporting on Monday, April 2, from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the ULM Alumni Center. Registration will begin at 8 a.m.

To pre-register for the workshop, contact the LSBDC-ULM at 318-342-1224.

About the Export and Trade Certification
The Export and Trade Certification Training program, provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Commercial Service of the Department of Commerce, certifies competency in the core concepts of international trade, including export marketing and sales, global logistics and supply chain, export regulations, and international trade payments.

Since the launch of the National Export Initiative, a government-wide export-promotion strategy which aims to increase exporting opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses, the LSBDC has significantly increased its international trade efforts.

The network now consists of seven trained international trade business consultants, of which three are certified.

Established in 1983, the LSBDC is the state's premiere provider of small business assistance and the only statewide nationally accredited program that provides business consulting to entrepreneurs at no cost.

Through a network of 10 centers, the LSBDC provides high quality one-on-one consulting, training and information resources to help new and existing businesses start, grow and succeed.

For more information about LSBDC, please visit

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