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June 3, 2013

ULM pharmacy student wins second place for PharmForum presentation

Virendra Chhikara (V.C.) of Haryana, India, a senior business consultant with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, won the "Startup Superstar Award" for starting the most businesses in Louisiana during the 2012 fiscal year.

Chhikara helped his clients start 15 new businesses in Northeast Louisiana in FY 2012.

"It feels great to help these businesses as small businesses are backbone to our economy," said Chhikara.

"I believe in quality output and receiving these awards is the icing on the cake, they are definitely motivating. I am honored by this recognition."

Chhikara also received his second consecutive "Million Dollar Club Award" for helping LSBDC clients achieve $1 million or more in capital during the LSBDC Awards Ceremony.

Each year, the LSBDC network honors its top consultants for positively impacting their communities. Categories recognized are for service, jobs created, new/increased sales, business starts, and capitalization.

Yolanda Olivarez, Regional Administrator for U.S. Small Business Administration and Mary Lynn Wilkerson, State Director for LSBDC presented the awards.

"V.C. is a true go-getter," said Wilkerson. "He works tirelessly on behalf of small businesses in Northeast Louisiana and we are proud to have him as part of our team."

Since 2009, Chhikara has helped start a total of 25 businesses, create 155 jobs, and access $8 million dollars in capital for his clients.

Chhikara is a Certified Export Counselor who joined the LSBDC in 2007 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.

Chhikara has 10 years of research, technology, and business development experience, and 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 addition to his MBA, Chhikara has a masters degree in Analytical Chemistry and a bachelors degree in Chemistry from Jiwaji University in Gwalior (Madhdya Pradesh) India.

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