The technological Grupo Castilla, specialized in human resources software, was not born in a garage in a big city, but in a farmhouse in the small town of Riudecols, in the Baix Camp (Tarragona).
In the middle of nature, Carlos Castilla – an agricultural engineer linked to the meat sector – created software to manage payroll digitally. He learned in a self-taught way, driven by the interest of solving an unresolved efficiency problem in the market. It was in 1979 when he decided to take the plunge, quit his job and turn his hobby into his main job. Castilla opened offices in Reus and began to attract the first clients in the territory.
Over time, it expanded throughout Spain and expanded its range of services beyond payroll management. “Today, we offer a comprehensive human resources service that covers the entire employee life cycle, from candidate selection, training, salary and schedule management to dismissal or retirement. We work for 2,800 companies of different sectors and sizes”, says Irene Navarrete, head of communication for the company, which in 2006 moved its headquarters to the municipality of Riudoms (Baix Camp).
Since the arrival of the pandemic and the increase in the digitization of companies, Castilla has been going through a period of expansion. In 2020, it took part in three acquisitions of competing firms: Data Process (Granollers), Thinking People (Zaragoza), Almerimatik (Almería). This year, it has closed two more operations, always at a confidential price. The group has acquired Conektia (Barcelona) and this week, Peixesoftware (Vigo). "Integration in the Castilla Group is the best way to reach more consumers and ensure the future of the business and the workforce," says Xavier Sospedra, CEO of Peixesoftware, a firm specializing in time registration that employs 10 people and invoices 850,000 euros .
This year, the company wants to make two or three more acquisitions. "With this acquisition plan we expect to bill 21 million euros this year, compared to 14 million in 2021 and 12.5 million in 2020. Ebitda (gross profit) will be around 20%".
With 280 people on staff and 22 offices spread throughout Spain, the company has always financed its growth with its own resources and bank financing. It is a formula that has worked and that, at the moment, the company has no intention of changing (the entry of external partners is ruled out). At the head of the business, Carles Castilla, second generation of the family business.