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From bank teller to banking millions: the rise of Australia’s much loved cleaning mogul

  • Written by Tess Sanders Lazarus

Haydar Hussein started his working life as a young man serving customers as a teller at Westpac. He followed in the footsteps of his father who had worked for the bank all his life. Little did he realise at the time that it was this job at the bank that would help to propel him into the most successful career anyone could ever imagine – the owner of the country’s largest franchising division with the Jim’s Group. Today, Haydar is a multi-millionaire responsible for heading up the country’s most lucrative and fastest growing franchise division – the Jim’s Cleaning Group.

I started as a young man working at Westpac in Melbourne, but in my early 20s after working with the bank for five years, I realised that I needed more money to live on. I spoke to the branch head and asked if I could clean the bank after work. The branch kindly agreed and this became my first cleaning job,” Hussein said.

I worked hard during the day and then at nights I cleaned the bank. Very soon afterwards, I was approached by other branches and they asked me if I could clean their sites as well.

Within a short period of time, my side hustle as a cleaner grew so quickly that it was now starting to pay more than my day job as a teller.

So, I made the decision to leave the bank and build my business as a cleaner full time. I quickly realised that in order to grow faster and take on more clients I needed to scale. I also wanted the support and business leads to help me expand quickly.

My next door neighbour owned a Jim’s franchise and he talked about how good the business was and how active Jim Penman was in growing the franchise group and supporting its franchisees.

I reached out to Jim’s and met with Jim Penman. We immediately struck up a great relationship and I took on a Jim’s Cleaning franchise.”

According to Hussein, in the early days of his franchise, he cleaned everything from cars, to carpets to houses to curtains, and more.

My Jim’s Cleaning franchise business boomed and before I knew it I had staff and a lengthy pipeline of bookings and a growing list of regular clients,” Hussein said.

I also realised pretty quickly that I needed to segment the different types of cleaning that we did and create separate cleaning businesses and as a result, Jim’s Blind Cleaning and Repairs, Jim’s Carpet Cleaning, Jim’s Window Cleaning, Jim’s Car Cleaning and Jim’s Home and Office Cleaning were born.”

Hussein and Penman forged an extraordinary partnership and grew the Jim’s Group quickly focusing on the expansion of the cleaning division. Hussein also augmented his ownership within the Jim’s Group purchasing franchisor geographic segments. Today is the divisional franchisor for cleaning, owning the entire Jim’s Cleaning Group Australia-wide.

Founder and CEO of the Jim’s Group, Jim Penman said, “Haydar has been an outstanding leader, who has pioneered many ways of giving better support to Franchisees. I consider him a personal friend and often ask his advice on matters relating to the business.”

Hussein also developed and launched his own range of proprietary Jim’s Cleaning products made with eco safe ingredients. The products enable the group to achieve improved results while minimising their impact during use and supporting the environment.

In addition to his divisional franchisor role, he also helped to establish the large contracts area of the business assisting the Jim’s Group to win and service large national contracts. He also mentors across the group and more broadly across the country, helping business owners to grow their businesses.

This month, the Jim’s Group celebrates reaching 5,000 franchisees, which is a significant achievement. Of this 5,000, my cleaning division, owns some 1300 of the franchises,” Hussein said.

We are just getting started. I have plans to continue to grow our wonderful division and increase the number of franchisees across our group, helping more Australians to achieve financial freedom and work in a role they love and enjoy.

I never would have thought, all those 21 years ago when I first started cleaning at the bank as a teller that I would be where I am today. I am incredibly proud to be part of the Jim’s Group and am grateful to Jim Penman for his friendship and support.

Together we have helped to grow one of the country’s most successful franchise groups and we have much more to achieve – and I am honoured to be part of this amazing journey with so many other wonderful people.”

About Jim’s Group

The Jim’s Group was founded by Jim Penman 30 years ago and has grown to become Australia’s largest and most trusted franchise group with some 5,000 franchisees across 47 divisions. The Jim’s Group is a family led business that prides itself on providing a franchise system that enables sole operators to thrive and expand allowing them to live on their terms.


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