Neha Raman

Founder, Rungh – Custom ‘make-your-own’ nail polish

Favorite Food: I’m a huge foodie. I love a variety of cuisines such as Italian, Indian, and Mexican.
Hometown: North Wales, Pa.
Temple Degree: Finance, 2018

What inspired you to start your own company?
I was really into nail polish, but found that my options were limited. I wanted a more custom approach and was tired of seeing the same colors over and over again.

My solution was to launch a make-your-own nail polish business – called “Rungh,” the Hindi word for “color” (and pronounced “Rung”) – while I still a student at North Penn High School in North Wales, Pa.

Describe your entrepreneurial journey.
After developing the idea, I had tremendous support from my parents who are listed as the business’s co-founders. They put up seed money needed for Rungh’s initial production run. In time, I produced a product that sells for $39.95 and includes six nail-polish bottles with nail-polish base, 18 pigment capsules, a battery-operated mixer, and disposable mixing wands.

Rungh, which has been featured on Zulily.com, was the official nail polish of Philadelphia Fashion Week in February 2016. I was also the runner-up in College Pitch Philadelphia, winning $5,000.

In April 2016, I was the second-place finisher in Temple University’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl, receiving a $10,000 prize. And in June, I made a one-minute pitch to casting associates of the popular television program “Shark Tank,” when they visited Temple’s campus.

What’s next for you and your business?
Greater things are ahead for Rungh. Other products are on the horizon – but I can’t yet disclose.

“By the time graduation comes, I’m hoping that Rungh is at a point where I can really manage it full-time and take it even farther,” she said.

Describe your experience participating in the Be Your Own Boss Bowl competition?
Participating in the Be Your Own Boss Bowl was both exciting and challenging. It took a lot of work. I would constantly reach out to my mentor for advice and was always making edits in an effort to finalize my business plan. Once submitted, I then had to work on a 10-minute pitch about the business in front of an audience. After many drafts, and several practices of running through my presentation, I was able to place 2nd in the undergraduate track. The whole process took weeks, but it was one of my most memorable and exciting experiences.

What lessons have you learned?
One lesson is that things don’t always go according to plan and that’s ok. If things don’t work out, finding another solution can be just as (if not more) rewarding.

Who is your mentor/idol and why?
My idol is Sophia Amoruso, who is the Founder of Nasty Gal. After reading her book, #GirlBoss, I felt incredibly inspired and determined to make Rungh a success. Sophia started Nasty Gal when she was in her 20s and accidently fell into entrepreneurship. I feel like I can really relate to her story and how she started her business. If she made it happen, I definitely can.

What advice would you give budding entrepreneurs?
Get started. I feel like so many people get caught up in the money aspect. Research, ask around, build a prototype (if you can), get a team, find a mentor. The money aspect will follow through once you have figured out what kind of business you want to start.