We are proud to include former Intel employee Zeferino Banda and his company, Banda Group International, as a local success story. Before starting his own company, Banda worked for Intel in the Facilities, Construction, and Technology group. After completing several projects for Intel at multiple US locations, and an international project in Israel, he decided to launch his own consulting company.
Today Banda Group International is a thriving, minority-owned premier company specializing in providing project management, technical support and EHS consulting services to companies of all sizes. Since Banda founded BGI as a one-person operation, it has grown and expanded to acquire worldwide multi-million dollar contracts and compete in the government marketplace.
BGI is a minority-owned business participating in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program, and is also a registered Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) through the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. BGI also holds Veteran Owned and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise status.
Diversity is of great importance at BGI. Banda has stated, “We are proud to employ minorities. Qualifications obviously come first: Being bilingual, for instance, can be very handy internationally. I also want to underline our commitment to veterans as well. I served in the Air Force, and veterans are very important to us.” BGI’s global project portfolio includes work in Algeria, Canada, China, Ireland, Israel, Kuwait, Laos, Mexico, Romania, and Venezuela.
How does such a mobile company and owner get the job done? Tablets and 2 in 1s are part of the devices deployed by BGI. In the field, tablets are used for design verification at client sites. They also use them to view piping and instrumentation diagrams using building information modeling software programs. Banda himself uses a tablet for meetings, mobile note-taking, and for checking email when flying between sites.
Technology can assist a small business in some unexpected ways. For instance, Banda noted an owner can look at leveraging technology instead of adding additional staff. “At the Banda Group International, we're dispersed geographically and have pockets of people across the country. By using technology for most of our meetings allows us to get together without having to be face-to-face. This saves us the cost and time of traveling.”
Keeping abreast of technology is important to Banda. Every two years, he and his IT consultants look over all of the devices to see if they are performing. Some of the devices are replaced with newer technology, part them are repurposed, and some are donated.
BGI is committed to making a positive impact on its local community, and supports a local charity called ICAN in Chandler. ICAN is an after-school program for disadvantaged youth, and the entire BGI staff has committed to volunteering there.
In 2013, BGI was named the 2013 Minority Exporter of the Year by the Minority Business Development Agency, and also earned multiple top rankings from Hispanic Business Magazine: 2013 Top 500 Hispanic Businesses (#377), 100 Fastest Growing Companies (#59), and 50 Top Exporters (#32). In 2012, Zeferino Banda was named the Arizona Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
We are proud to feature the success story of Banda, as his work at BGI is representative of the commitment to diversity, positive local impact, and standard of excellence shared at Intel.