AVINASH RACHMALE 7.6.08
Among the many immigrant Detroiters we’ve had the opportunity to interview for the ‘Our Story’ series, none exemplifies the ‘rags to riches’ paradigm as well as Avinash Rachmale, founder and CEO of Lakeshore Engineering Services.
Born in rural India forty-three years ago, Rachmale has built an engineering company from scratch, with a vision which is ultimately intended to change the city of Detroit. Lakeshore Engineering Services is an aggressively growing firm headquartered in the New Center Area at the precise time when Detroit needs just such diversity in its infrastructure. The fifteen-year-old corporation specializes in construction and environmental services throughout the world and recently purchased the Kahn-deigned Labor Building on Woodward at Grand Boulevard. Lakeshore Engineering includes several subsidiaries, including Lakeshore Construction Group, which provides general contracting and construction management services for a variety of public works, environmental & Federal Government facility projects, Lakeshore Environmental and Remediation, specializing in total turnkey operations” for engineering and environmental projects, including UXO/MEC and Radiation, and Engineering & Planning which covers water and wastewater engineering and drilling and technical services as well as Auto-CAD and GIS services.
In his comfortable and ever-evolving Bloomfield Hills home, Rachmale and his lovely wife Hema have assimilated into Detroit life. Their children, Ruchi, 18, Akash age 12 and Adarsh Rachmale, 9 have grown up here, and are finding their own path to the American Dream. All are aspiring musicians as well as scholars, and Rachmale’s home is filled with instruments, from guitars to violins to pianos. Ruchi, the eldest daughter, will be studying medicine on a scholarship.
Though born to a hardworking agricultural family in central India, Rachmale comes from a level of poverty that is hard to grasp for Westerners; as we toured his hometown of Waigaon this past year, we were amazed to find that his village is still very much a pastoral anachronism to Western standards, without amenities like plumbing and running water that we have come to expect. Still, in all the travels we have undertaken, the Visionalist crew has never visited a spot more filled with respect, interest, human passion and hospitality, values and virtues which Rachmale has extended to us since the outset of our Indian journey.