This guest post was written by Alex Sprayberry, a senior at Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College, where she is earning her undergraduate degree in Business Management, a minor in Nonprofit Administration, and a certificate in International Business.
As a part of Intel’s commitment to delivering world-class products and services, we rely on a broad range of fresh perspectives that reflect the diverse global customer base we serve. Supplier diversity is a key component to our strategy, as we understand that a diverse supply chain gives us expanded access to talent, benefits our local communities and markets, and brings new perspectives and ideas to our business.
Former Intel employee Zeferino Banda and his company, Banda Group International, is a local supplier success story. Banda worked for Intel at multiple US locations and in Israel before deciding to launch his own consulting company.
Today Banda Group International (BGI) is a thriving company specializing in providing project management, technical support and Environmental Health and Safety consulting services to companies of all sizes. BGI markets include the construction, manufacturing, aerospace, energy, nuclear safety management, high-tech, telecommunications, risk management, pharmaceutical, and petro-chemical industries. 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. Based in Chandler, AZ, BGI also has an office in Albuquerque, NM.
BGI is a minority-owned business participating in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program, a registered Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) through the National Minority Supplier Development Council, and 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.”
According to Banda, his experiences at Intel have played a major role in BGI’s success. From the company structure to the way he recruits and manages staff, the knowledge he gained from working at Intel is engrained in the foundation of BGI. The diverse global perspective he earned at Intel is paving the way for BGI’s international presence – BGI’s global project portfolio includes work in Algeria, Canada, China, Ireland, Israel, Kuwait, Laos, Mexico, Romania, and Venezuela. BGI does business locally with Intel in Arizona, as well as other organizations such as NASA and the Department of Energy.
Banda’s work received recognition from Intel’s Supplier Diversity Program, and he was awarded a scholarship to attend a minority education program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. After receiving significant value from the experience, he decided to send all of his senior managers through the same course at his own expense. Banda stated, “I would have never known of the opportunity without Intel sending me there.”
BGI is also 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 in the 85225 zip code, and the entire BGI staff has committed to volunteering there. Because Banda lives in this zip code, the initiative hits close to home. BGI has been supporting the ICAN program for three years now, and earlier this year Banda was added to the Board of Directors.
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 encourage all Intel suppliers to support our efforts to develop a healthy diversity initiative in their own business operations. Zeferino Banda’s work at Banda Group International is representative of the commitment to diversity, positive local impact, and standard of excellence we share at Intel, and we are proud to feature him as a supplier success story.