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Vandana Tolani | The Entrepreneurs of India Magazine June 2022

Updated: Jul 17, 2022

Convanto, an initiative of Vandana Tolai into the world of investment banking. She had her own Family Office in Singapore and Jakarta. She has worked as an investment banker as well as an advisor to angel investors in Jakarta. “I was raising funds for them and providing them with a range of services just as Convanto does today.” Today Convanto is one of the most well-known boutique investment banks in India, led by a female founder.

She is 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.

Dr Kiran Bedi has also awarded Convanto as The Best Financial Institution for Supporting Start-Ups -2022.

She always maintains close contact with her clients with proper two-way. “Understanding and satisfying exactly what your customers want is key to success”, says Vandana. She also advises that don’t take more clients than you handle. “Do not underestimate the power of networking”, says she.

Clients in this field are often very invested in their start-ups, so they can be worried. Secondly being persistent is important. “The way a start-up is positioned to the investor must always be kept in mind”, says she.

She wasn’t fortunate when it comes to family terms. She says, “Most of my family wasn’t very supportive, though my children were and still occasionally help me out with the firm.” She believes that if families want to support their children’s entrepreneurship dreams, they need to know about them. That means the parents shouldn’t force a job onto the child and believe in them and give them the right education required.

“Being an entrepreneur is a big risk and giving the child backup such as the academic qualifications for another job will go a long way in boosting their confidence”, says Vandana.

The resources available to a business, in the beginning, are always limited. It is up to the founder to make the best use of them. “If the founder doesn’t economize as much as possible, then no amount, of resources can ever be enough”, says Vandana.

Starting a business involves putting in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, which is the most important. It is important to remain headstrong, and determined, and make the best use of the limited resources available in the beginning.

She knew returning to India after 15 years won’t be easy. She was determined to move on in her journey. “Determination is a quality that helps you combat a challenge,” says she.

Convanto is an investment bank. “We focus on helping startups work according to the current market demands, by helping them make business plans and pitch deck presentations.” On top of all these, they also help them find investors for their business.

“I have built a positive reputation of trust with my investor contacts, with over 300+ investors across the globe, which allows me to pick up global deals and increases my client's chance of success as there are so many potential investors.” She has worked with many startups which achieved market recognition such as Nykaa.

At Convanto they also 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”, says Vandana.

The number one lesson she learned is that nothing beats hard work. No business is perfect, and just like people, they too have their faults. Vandana says, “How adaptable a business is defining 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 the industry. Convanto does its best to keep up with these changes.”

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