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Vandana Tolani

Vandana Tolani

Leading Convanto With 21 Years Of Rich Experience In International And Domestic Business Advisory & Fund Raising

A versatile & dynamic professional with a sustained passion to help businesses reach their growth potential, Vandana Tolani, CEO & Founder, Convanto is one such inspiring women leader who has been developing an eagle’s eye for spotting opportunities in industries that are set for long term growth in the Indian economic context. An adept strategic planner with a proven history of mentoring Business start-ups, identifying new growth avenues, developing innovative strategies, and building high-performing teams. Her core area of work is Fundraising for early-stage start-ups across sectors and industry sub-verticals.

Her brand, Convanto comes under the Top 10 Women Entrepreneur Brands along with Nykaa. Vandana has also been awarded as the Top 10 Women Leaders in Wealth. With over 21 years of rich experience in International and Domestic Business Advisory & Fund Raising, she has closed 165 investments in more than 35 countries. This month she has been recognized one of the Top 10 Women Leaders in Wealth Management 2021 and has participated in 160+ talks.

CONVANTO, A BOUTIQUE INVESTMENT BANK FIRM
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.

Convanto advises 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, the firm has proven its operational expertise in bringing money, creating value, and driving growth to help you maximize your results.

THE INSPIRING STORY
Coming back to India after 15 years was not easy, but Vandana was determined to move on in her journey. Vandana set up Convanto 7 years ago, a boutique investment bank. Determination is a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult. Vandana had to believe in herself and not others, and at one point she even had no support but I was still firm on my decisions.

The day I stopped listening to negativity from many people I found out that I was skillful, talented, and was doing things in the right manner which was why I succeeded, not mere luck. When many doors closed many others opened, and it felt like God himself was by my side. I think looking for more solutions and fewer problems, and staying positive and happy, helped me overcome my roadblocks. Ultimately, we always have to help ourselves as someone won’t always rescue us, and not giving up easily always helped me. As a woman, The banks consider us less credit-worthy and discourage us as borrowers on the belief that we can at any time leave their business.

Given such a situation, women entrepreneurs are bound to rely on their own savings, if any, and loans from friends and relatives who are expectedly meager and negligible. Thus, many women enterprises fail due to the shortage of finance. Another struggle we face is that Male chauvinism is still the order of the day in India. The Constitution of India speaks of equality between sexes. But, in practice, women are looked upon as able, i.e., weak in all respects. Women suffer from male reservations about a woman’s role, ability, and capacity and are treated accordingly.

MAINTAINING A FOCUSED WORKFORCE & KEEPING EMPLOYEES CONTENT
Enthusiasm is an intense enjoyment or lively interest in a certain thing with zest and a strong belief that can be felt by those around you. Vandana typically sets goals for her employees some of which are

  • turn barriers into possibilities and look at negative behaviour and attitude as opportunities for change
  • show respect for others opinions when a disagreement arises, avoid telling someone that they are wrong, and try seeing things from other perspectives
  • strive for excellence, exceed expectations by giving everything utmost best.

Keeping your employees happy is important for retention and it does not always require a raise. Happy employees are more creative and productive, they are also less likely to quit. Being transparent and honest with your employees helps them feel valued and respected. As an employer saying thank you is a simple but effective way to show your appreciation. The best benefit you can provide to your employees is the opportunity to make a difference through their work and help guide the course of the company.

VANDANA’S TAKE ON WOMEN PARTICIPATION IN THE ENTREPRENEURIAL WORLD
The number of women-owned businesses increased nearly 3,000% since 1972. Not only that but between 2017 and 2018 women started an average of 1,821 new businesses per day in the U.S. With women now making up a whopping 40% of new entrepreneurs, it’s clear that more women are turning to entrepreneurship than ever before. But why are so many women starting businesses?

TO HAVE MORE FLEXIBILITY
The reality is that women are still the primary caregivers whether we’re talking about children or aging parents. One research study indicated that the primary reason American women start businesses is to accommodate work to their family needs. Another survey revealed that roughly 74% of women said flexibility is more important than making the most money. Being your own boss generally allows for more freedom than working for someone else. This additional autonomy is especially helpful when the family may be the number one priority.

The ability to set your own schedule also makes it easier to make time for exercise and a healthy lifestyle another reason why women are turning to entrepreneurship. To charge what they are worth!

FROM THE FOUNDER’S DESK
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 diverse backgrounds, 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 the 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 INSEADled Canadian VC Fund, having a core portfolio of over 160 investments in more than 35 countries. I am also a Partner with GSD Venture Studios, a Silicon Valley based venture builder.

Over the years, I have arranged Funding for startups & growthstage companies in diverse sectors like EdTech, FinTech, Consumer B2C & B2B, AgriTech, Health-tech, Food- tech, Disruptive & DeepTech as well as non-tech sectors.

VISIONARY’S MESSAGE TO THE READERS
Every single person I know who is successful at what they do is successful because they love doing it. Anything can be done, as long as you truly believe it. Find something you love and do it better than everyone else. Also, remember that you will never be criticized by someone who is doing more than you. You will only be criticized by someone who is doing less, so always remember that.

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