Interview with Vandana Tolani | Founder and CEO at Convanto

Vandana Tolani

As part of our relentless pursuit to identify and share with our community some of the unique and compelling stories from the startup ecosystem, this week we spoke to yet another passionate woman entrepreneur Vandana Tolani to understand more about her inspiring journey, her vision and the way forward. She is the Founder and CEO at Convanto. Let’s learn more about her incredible journey so far!

Excerpts from our exclusive interview with Vandana:

We are aware of your contribution to the ecosystem, talk us through your background and your journey as a women entrepreneur, please;

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 an 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 GSD Venture Studios, 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 selected  as one of the Top 10 Women Leaders in Wealth Management 2021 by Women Entrepreneur India

My expert opinion is often sought by leading business news channels and publications like VCTV, and Business World, and I have participated in 100+ 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-$25 million.

Vandana Tolani

What attracts you towards entrepreneurship instead of a corporate career?

To be honest, I’ve always been propelled towards starting my own business ever since high school, which is why I started to work towards it from an early age. Granted, marriage, kids, responsibilities and the like did set me back a bit, but I’m glad to be back on track, especially since Convanto is what arose from it. Moreover, all the experiences I’ve had before starting Convanto have played a huge role in what it is today.

I chose this path because being an entrepreneur lets you dictate what you want to do with your company, and in that sense, it gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility to try and implement new ideas, and give a bit of your own touch to your work, which is what I absolutely love about the job. 

And to be honest with you, you don’t have to be someone like me who has always been interested in this type of career to be an entrepreneur. I’d like to think that the difference between an entrepreneur and an employee is really as simple as the way the person thinks about their work and the degree to which they follow up on that thinking.

‘Convanto’ is such a unique name; talk us through more about it, please. Our audience would also love to know what kind of problem you are solving?

It’s quite simple really, Convanto is a portmanteau of the words “Consultant Vandana Tolani”. 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.

During this COVID-19 crisis, what are the measures you have undertaken to continue your business without disruption?

We gave work from home for teams and closed deals online, without much disruption and went all digital. Every aspect of the business is online and tech-enabled to ensure automation as much as possible.

How do you manage to keep going despite the challenges? What drives you?

It’s simple, I love what I do and that is one of the biggest motivating factors behind my business.

Apart from this, the responsibility of two kids keeps driving me to do my best and move forward in order to secure their future.

What are some of the strategies that you believe have helped you grow as a person? 

My persistence was one of the key factors that helped my brand and me 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.

You are always positive and motivated, what keeps you going?

I am positive as I have read the book –

Power of subconscious mind by Joseph Murphy”

And having huge responsibilities for kids keeps me going. I love what I am doing so hence I keep myself going as well.

I think if you love something you will not need motivation all the time.

Vandana Tolani

In your opinion, what are the keys to success?

The number one lesson I’ve learned in my life 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 the importance of adaptability too. 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 an industry such as this, and we ensure that Convanto does its best to keep up with these changes. 

What advice would you give students and young professionals who want to have a successful career?

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. We led with our conviction rather than rational because rational said it was impossible.

Find something you love and do it better than everyone else. Failure is a stepping stone to greatness and we all fail. I read the book ‘Power of the Subconscious Mind’ and found it inspiring, and  I practised the law of attraction.

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. Successful people do not put others down.


Please don’t forget to read – Interview with Damodar Venugopal | Founder at The Mind Seed | Harleen Kaur and Dalbir Kaur Bhatia | Co-Founders at The Mind Seed

BrilliantRead is committed to bringing stories from the startup ecosystem, stories that reshape our perspective, add value to our community and be a constant source of motivation not just for our community but also for the whole ecosystem of entrepreneurs and aspiring individuals.
Note: If you have a similar story to share with our audience and would like to be featured on our online magazine, then please write to us at [email protected], we will review your story and extend an invitation to feature if it is worth publishing.
Sponsors and co-sponsors

Leave a Comment