Carmen Castillo Success Story

By Carmen Castillo

President & CEO | SDI International Corp

Carmen Castillo was born in Mallorca, Spain, and even as a young child in a large family, she knew she wanted to run her own business. She’d long had a love for fine cuisine and delivering quality service, so she initially found success and happiness in the restaurant industry, but when she moved to the US in the early 90s she quickly grasped the powerful impact of technology, and while she didn’t quite know how she would do it, she realized that this was the way in which she could serve clients across a multitude of industries. She found a mentor, left the restaurant industry and founded SDI in 1993.

SDI began as a staffing firm for tech companies and in a short period, the company signed a small contract with IBM. As business grew, Carmen became aware about supplier diversity and minority certification, and she swiftly got SDI certified as both Hispanic- and woman-owned. Once certified, she began knocking on doors in South Florida and to her surprise, companies welcomed SDI with open arms. They had been looking for strong woman-owned companies to enroll in their supplier diversity programs, and diversity certification became one of SDI’s key game changers, as was their commitment to quality service.

Through the years, SDI expanded its business portfolio to include payrolling, independent contractor compliance programs and Procure-to-Pay and Source-to-Pay solutions for the tail end of the supply chain, becoming one of the largest, if not the
largest MWBE in the world. The company followed its global clients and today, it services them through Centers of Excellence located in strategic locations throughout the world.

Carmen stays true to her roots planted in service and efficiency. In her own words: “If you serve well, and become your customer’s trusted advisor, you transition from a provider to a partner. My clients are my partners. My mantra became ‘We make ourselves indispensable to our clients by building globally and acting locally.’”

Aside from her role at SDI, Carmen is an advocate for women- and minority-owned business worldwide, sitting on the boards of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and the Women’s Business Development Council of Florida/HERCompany, among others.