AB Celestial- The dwelling place of celebrities and the flashback!


Aishwarya Bhende, all off 23 years, has achieved entrepreneurial success with her flagship venture, the luxury floating restaurant, AB Celestial. At the early age of 18 Aishwarya dreamt of giving Mumbai’s coastline a jewel it well deserved. Being part of a family that loved travelling the world, she had the unique opportunity while growing up to visit numerous European waterfront destinations. It saddened her when she returned back home at the commercial capital, Mumbai which is blessed with un-paralleled views of the Arabian ocean and a coastline at the length of 720 kilometres., lacked such experiences. Aishwarya was ready with a vision: To give the city of Mumbai the experiences it deserved. Tourism in India is important for the country’s rapidly growing economy. Maharashtra is the fastest growing and most visited state in India which makes tourism contribute towards more to the economy and is predicted to further grow by 2028. After 3 years of a long arduous journey overcoming several hurdles and making huge sacrifices, her hard work bore fruit. AB Celestial, India’s first and only floatel was launched in revenue sharing partnership with MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Cooperation) , MMB (Maharashtra Martitime Board) and MSRDC (Maharashtra State Road Development Cooperation) This opened a pathway for other floatels, various water based activities using our beautiful coastline creating new avenues for businesses, jobs and contributing towards the industry and the country’s growth and future. The efforts put in were mammoth, ranging from acquiring 108 legal permissions from the government, to having a private road built especially dedicated for this project, but the most difficult task was making others see the boat how she envisioned it, which led to Aishwarya taking on the interiors upon herself. Despite meeting with an ample number of top – notch interior designers nobody could imagine AB Celestial the way Aishwarya dreamt it up to be, so she took this task head on and spent 8 months carefully curating every nook and corner of the boat as well as sourcing furniture. With the help of a team of local handymen to together and provide an immersive nautical experience keeping in mind blue and white colour scheme ranging from wallpapers, artifacts, crockery as well as the glassware making it unique from others. The young entrepreneur has been deeply involved in every step of the way, from overseeing the menu curation of theme based cocktails to the appointment of the staff and designing their uniforms, making sure that every food and beverage element sourced is of the highest quality. The restaurant offers excellent delicacies from Indian, Continental and Asian cuisines with highly experienced chefs and a fine, opulent ambiance being the first of its kind and a disruptor in the industry. Now, on its’ second season sailing the passionate business woman is always present on the boat overseeing the day to day running operations of the four tier vessel that features a café, banquet hall, a lounge bar, V.I.P private dining area and an open air sky deck with a 360 breath taking panoramic views of the Bandra – Worli Sea link. There’s never a dull day while working at the luxury dining cruise ship. Its frequented visited by the likes of Tiger Shroff, Disha Patani, Mandira Bedi, Anil & Aditya Roy Kapoor or Bollywood’s favourite Miss Malini Agarwal. On a daily basis Aishwarya gets to work with giants from all sorts of industries, be it luxury car brand Porsche and Mercedes AMG, tech mammoth Google, e-commerce dominator Amazon Prime, home of entertainment You Tube, make up mogul Lakmé beauty, fashion maven Masaba Gupta who has unveiled her cruise collection with a fashion show or finance guru’s HSBC and Prudential Financial which are just a few names from an endless, impressive list for somebody at her age. The boat has also been the background location for Nokia’s latest television advertisement featuring Alia Bhatt. Though a young Aishwarya never imagined herself being front and center heading a project as large as like AB Celestial any more than the people who have been close to her did, being a student that was a target of severe bullying through out her school life, being weak at mathematics with a fear of numbers she always had a keen eye and love for fashion as well as music and she believed that, that is where her career path too would take her to. However, a yearning was to give people of Mumbai who haven’t had a chance to travel overseas a memorable waterfront experience her childhood was painted with as well as make It a tourist attraction. She never pictured herself to be balancing from lectures and tuitions to business meetings which was unlike most people her age at the time. It caused her not only to lose out on her social life as well as her entire friends circle but that was the cost to achieve the dream. Initially on dropping the idea of setting up a floating restaurant to most people, they never believed in her and thought she was being unrealistic. It was too good to be true and would never work out but with the unwavering support of her parents who also played an important role in the project, it has carefully crafted into reality today. This is the first of many ventures she hopes to kickstart in the near future and over the next couple of years she would like to invest in various other businesses specially in the hospitality sector as well as fashion being something she has always been passionate about. She foresees herself as a baby shark and wishes to set an example by motivating budding entrepreneurs never to give up their dreams no matter what the obstacle maybe. Therefore, Aishwarya strongly lives in the motto ‘Anchor your dreams into reality’ because if you can dream something then you can definitely do it as time has its’ way of coming to your favour no matter how long it may take and that is the tag line of her labour of love, AB Celestial.


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