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Released on: Mar 30th, 2022


Vandana Tolani - Founder & CEO at Convanto
Top 10 Women Leaders In Wealth Management 2021 | Venture Capital | Investment Management

Talk us through your background and your journey as an individual and entrepreneur.
I had my own Family Office in Singapore and Jakarta. I worked as an Investment Banker & Advisor to Family Offices and Angel investors in Jakarta, Indonesia, helping start-ups from a diverse background, from Fin-Tech and B2B Tech all the way to consumer startups.
I was raising funds for them & providing them with a range of services just as Convanto does today. After 15 years of staying in Singapore and Jakarta, I came back to India. I did investments for a bit, and then returned to advisory. That is when Convanto was founded. Today Convanto is one of the most well-known boutique investment banks in India and led by a female founder.

Today, I am also a Venture Advisor with Loyal VC, the INSEAD-led Canadian VC Fund, having a core portfolio of over 160 investments in more than 35 countries.  I am also a Partner with a Silicon Valley-based Venture builder.
Over the years, I have  arranged Funding for startups & growth-stage companies in diverse sectors like, EdTech, FinTech, Consumer B2C & B2B, AgriTech, Health- tech, Food- tech, Disruptive & DeepTech as well as non-Tech sectors. Please do have a look at my website for testimonials.

This month I have been awarded as one of the Top 10 Women Leaders in Wealth Management 2021 and my brand Convanto comes under the top 10 women entrepreneur brands along with NYKAA.

My expert  opinion is often sought by leading business news channels and publications like VCTV, and Business World, and I have participated in 160+ talks – you can easily see them on YouTube and the VCTV streaming site. and
I am connected with 300+ investors globally, picking up global deals while being sector agnostic. Our ticket size is $1-$50 million.

if you had to start over; would you choose a corporate career or being an entrepreneur and why?
Steve Jobs perhaps summed this idea up best when he said: “When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is … Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it … Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

Entrepreneurs don’t just want to change their lives — they want to change the world.

Mark Twain explained the lure of entrepreneurship best when he wrote, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor

Being an entrepreneur gives me the opportunity to take a calculated risk on a passion. Entrepreneurship constantly presents new challenges. As I overcome the adversity in my business, it leads to personal growth as well.I love owning my own business because I feel there is always something that I can do to improve. Being an entrepreneur is awesome for a lot of reasons, but I think the most important and overlooked reason is that it forces a person to develop parts of their personality that make them more well-rounded and a better person.I think being an entrepreneur is great because the possibilities are endless. You can be as creative and innovative as you want to be, and the results are the most rewarding.  

What is the hardest challenge you faced in your career and how did you turn it into an opportunity?
Coming back to India was a challenge in itself . Convanto started 7 years ago, in Gurgaon, Haryana. Convanto is a portmanteau of the words “Consultant Vandana Tolani”. It is a boutique investment bank firm with a range of services aimed at enabling young start-ups – it provides them with services such as Fund Raising, Marketing & Growth Advisory, GTM strategic Advisory, and value added services such as building Investor Presentations and Financial Models.
We at Convanto advise small, medium, and large enterprises on raising capital, finding their product-market fit, and implementing a successful go-to-market strategy, branding strategy and brand positioning.
Unlike traditional consulting firms, we have proven our operational expertise in bringing money, creating value, and driving growth to help you maximize your results.

Tell us about the uniqueness of your brand startup?
There are many fascinating things about having my own brand. I’m the type of person who prefers working for myself rather than for others and not being boxed in, and so I felt as though this was the best option for me. What I love about running a small business is the ability to direct the culture of my company. When I am in the driver’s seat I am making the decisions on how to best steer my company into the future. When I make my own decisions about how best to operate day to day, this leads to creating a culture, a brand, and eventually, an organization. Running my own brand helps me with work-life balance. It also helps me surround myself with positive people who give me the confidence and optimism that I need to keep moving forward. Some people are in the routine habit of their job, performing the same tasks over and over again. An entrepreneur, each day, will be filled with new opportunities to challenge themselves, be creative, and learn something new, which is what fascinates me about being one.

What is your business success mantra that you have embraced as you sought to establish your success story?
My persistence was one of the key factors that helped my brand to grow. I was always on my toes, looking for new ideas and ways to position my business, often even stepping out of my comfort zone when it came to the events I did. Moreover, I am a firm believer that growth is largely related to client satisfaction, and so I do everything in my power to make sure they are satisfied with my work. Over time, I have learned that the best way for sustainable growth and success of any relevant strategy is to focus continuously on customer problem-solving or feedback and improving the service to them and their successful experience with what you offer them. This builds continuous consumption, trust, value and growth, and is what I have implemented in my brand. This, combined with my determination and persistence, has helped my brand to grow the most and reach where it has today.

One special Quote/message for all communities/brands.
The number one lesson I’ve learned in my lifetime is that nothing beats hard work. Hard work outweighs talent and intelligence and is necessary if you want to succeed. This not only means working hard when things are going well, but working harder when things are not. It means taking calculated risks and sticking to them, no matter how challenging they are. This is very important to keep in mind as an entrepreneur. No business is perfect, and just like people, they too have their faults, no matter how successful or unsuccessful they may be. Recognizing and accepting these faults as an entrepreneur, facing reality and doing your best to work around these faults is the best way to move forward and the secret to success. With time, I’ve learnt of the importance of adaptability too. How adaptable a business is defines its ability to stay afloat in the future. Being progressive in terms of keeping up with the ever changing market is of great importance in an industry such as this, and we ensure that Convanto does its best to keep up with these changes.

Any other Happy moments /achievements you would like to share with the world.
I have received four awards in 2021:
– The Top 10 Women Leaders in Wealth Management 2021
– The top 10 women entrepreneur brands
– Top 10 consulting firms by a female founder
– Women entrepreneur of the year 2021

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