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Timeline Of Success: The History Of Rainbow International

December 18, 2017
Timeline Of Success: The History Of Rainbow International

2017 was another milestone year for Rainbow International. We’ve done amazing work with hundreds of clientele across the UK. Revenue is strong, and our territories are expanding. It’s making us stir the memories of what we’ve accomplished over a past reaching back 50 years…

So, how much do you know about our franchise business? Keen to discover how we got here? As we move into 2018 with momentum at our heels, let’s examine the history of the company, and the values that’ve shaped us.


1901 – 1968: Well-polished origins

The first thing to say is that Rainbow doesn’t exist as a lone entity. We’re under the banner of the ISS Group, a global facility services provider that began life as a force of 20 night-watchmen in 1901. They would be sent to a property, guard it, and report any feedback to their clients.

Over the next couple of decades, ISS added specialist cleaning treatment to its arsenal. By 1946 the organisation was large enough to expand beyond Denmark, its original HQ, and form a Swedish subsidiary.

It took another 22 years for the ISS Group to arrive in the UK. They maintained the same promise i.e. looking after a facility to save time, money and hassle for its owners and those who use it.


1987 – 1994: Another face on the scene

During ISS’ rise to the top, another entrepreneur was making his mark on the UK specialist cleaning industry: Melvin Lusty, a man who’d already bought and sold a franchise business in the mid 1980s for 20 times its initial value. By 1987, he was restless for other UK franchise opportunities. Lusty bought the British arm of Rainbow International – which was based at Mansfield Brewery – for just £1.

He quickly poured all of his talent into making the specialist cleaning and restoration venture what it is today. As part of this initiative, he began creating roles – such as technical Support – that hadn’t been considered before, meaning teams, equipment and client requests could be handled much more effectively.

In the same year, the ISS Group formed a dedicated Damage Control division. They were beginning to remedy the influence of floods, fires and excessive damp for homes and venues. Melvin Lusty, meanwhile, kept making huge returns in the same sector, leading to the construction of Spectrum House (where our Head Office still resides) in 1994.


1996 – 2003: A tide of professional recognition

Rainbow continued to make headway over the 90s. Under Lusty’s tenure, we won several awards as a Global Builder, Franchise Sales Leader, the Largest Dwyer Group Franchise and Huw Smith’s BFS Franchise Of The Year. This success would pique ISS’ interest. They eventually acquired the brand in 2003, having seen its results and tangible achievements.

Whilst the details were being hammered out, it’s important to realise that Rainbow’s profit grew from under £5m annually to over £30m by the time the deal was struck. Our processes, scheduling and customer care were gluing into the perfect service package.


2007 – present: Still covering fresh ground…

Today, Rainbow operate dozens of Great Britain’s best franchise opportunities. A glut of new branches opened circa 2007, when we had a surge of interest from business leaders looking for a change of pace. ISS Damage Control and Rainbow International merged in 2010, becoming ISS Facilities Services Restoration. Yet the brand’s original name carried a lot of weight, so we kept it.

Those in charge of our services kept getting better. A desire for stronger, more extensive emergency treatments led to a Fire & Flood Training House, where our operators can test their skills in a simulated environment. Then recently, in 2017, we welcomed Steven Mitchell as our next Managing Director. His inaugural year was crowned with a win at the BDMA awards for our work on the McVitie’s factory.

So this is where we’ve come to – a plethora of amazing resources to start your own franchise business. Fancy taking our history further? Call our recruitment team for more information on a territory near you.


Article RE Melvin Lusty: