America's Fastest-Growing Call Center
BY Inc. staff
Portland, Maine–based Listen Up Español, a call center for Spanish-speaking customers, is cashing in on the Latin population boom.
No. 1 in Business Products and Services
Listen Up Español 6,914.1% Three-Year Growth Revenue: $14.9 Million Employees: 1,200 Co-founders: Craig Handley and Anthony Ricciardi Founded: 2006 Overall RANK: No. 27 Portland, Maine listenupespanol.com
Tony Ricciardi and Craig Handley were well established in the call center business as consultants. Then they saw an opportunity and opened their own facility—a Spanish-language one, despite the fact that neither of them speaks the language. Ricciardi and Handley started Listen Up Español in Hermosillo, Mexico, in 2006. The call center has serviced Spanish-speaking customers for many of the big names in infomercials, including Ronco, Magic Bullet, and ShamWow, and also handles calls for major charitable causes, including the Red Cross's Haiti relief effort and Children's Miracle Network. The company had a big bump in 2009, largely because of an infomercial for a hair straightener called InStyler. After landing that account, Listen Up Español hustled to hire and train 500 call center agents in 30 days.