Chey Garland set up her Hartlepool call-centre business in 1997 with 20 staff and one 12-week contract. But she was already an experienced entrepreneur, having started her own credit-management business at the age of 23 with £600 of savings. Today Garland’s company, CJ Garland, faces stiff competition from low-cost foreign rivals. She motivates her staff by running an in-house radio station, called Radio GaGa, and an Ibiza-style cafe bar overlooking a marina. Employees can also take time out from work to act as reading mentors at local schools. Clients such as Vodafone, Egg and Powergen now outsource phone and e-mail customer service inquiries to CJ Garland, helping its sales grow 114% a year from £1.3m in 1998 to £12.6m in 2001, when it employed 1,100 staff.
This profile reflects the company at time of publication and does not reflect any changes that may have subsequently occurred. Fast Track and its sponsors do not endorse, guarantee or recommend investment in any of the companies.