Bengaluru-based Vasudha Madhavan runs Ostara Advisors, India’s first investment bank focussed solely on the electric mobility and sustainability sector.
In 2018, Vasudha Madhavan formed India’s first investment bank focused solely on the electric mobility and sustainability sector. She was working in an investment company and was advising a company that was diversifying its mobility business. They wanted to enter the clean mobility sector. Advising them, Vasudha had to learn about electric mobility a lot. This is how she came to understand the possibility in this sector.
Vasudha Madhavan had her childhood spent in different cities until her family settled in Lucknow and later moved to Bengaluru. She studied in XLRI in Jamshedpur and later worked in various banks. But working in what she calls India’s first EV two-wheeler acquisition transaction gave her experience and insights into the sector like nothing else. “At no point did I want to come across as having half-baked knowledge on the sector. That, in a sense, pushed me to work harder and learn faster,” she says in an interview.
From 2012 itself Vasudha wanted to step into the world of boutique investment banks. She always knew that she wanted to be an entrepreneur. It was a personal conviction in the Electric Mobility space that convinced Vasudha to take this leap of faith. “I also learnt along the way that there was a need to move away from being a generalist, as startups and investors interested in this space needed a specialised advisor. I had to get into the details – understand battery chemistries, powertrain components, the role of technology in the EV, etc. I was keen on developing a technical understanding of and finding interconnectivity between various startups in the electric mobility space,” she says.
“Around mid-2020, I started seeing a buzz around the EV space. It was beginning to be a vibrant startup ecosystem with not enough funding going around. There was a huge opportunity to bring in more investors and make good returns,” she adds.
According to Vasudha her mother Sudha Madhavan who is an artist and children’s author encouraged her and her sister to take on new challenges and disregard gender stereotypes. Her mother has also provided her unconditional support in her entrepreneurial journey. Vasudha also adds that she would like to see more women in the space of Electric Vehicles.
Credits: The Better India