A Kiwi tech businessman, who has possibly done more to improve trade ties with Vietnam than any other New Zealander, has been named a finalist in the AUT Business School Excellence awards.
Mitchell Pham of Auckland, director of Augen Software Group and chair of NZTech and FinTechNZ, is a finalist in the Business Support Awards category. The winners will be announced on October 4.
Pham was pivotally responsible for setting up the Kiwi Connection Tech Hub in Ho Chi Minh City, as a gateway for the New Zealand tech sector to engage with south-east Asia.
Pham has led Augen to help New Zealand tech companies quickly establish local presence and capabilities in the Vietnam market, which can also serve as an operating base for the region. The first of these companies include Orion Health and ShapeShifter, with others in the process of being assisted.
Earlier this year Pham led NZTech to rally the financial services industry and set up FinTechNZ which has quickly become a strong industry association with a rapidly growing domestic community, government participation and international connections.
He has created a template for FinTechNZ that is now being used for other industry-focused innovation and technology associations.
Fifteen years ago, Pham co-founded the NZ Health IT Cluster, and has since been involved in numerous tech-related industry activities, joining the board and becoming Chair of NZTech in 2016.
His industry leadership has been transforming the technology sector in many areas of opportunity for growth and advancement.
He is directly involved in numerous collaborations to accelerate Kiwi tech presence and engagement in Vietnam and the ASEAN region and encourage other members of the tech sector to do the same with other high-value markets and regions around the world.
“It is a real honour to be recognised for the work that we do, from bringing resource and capability to help Kiwi businesses accelerate innovation and speed-to-market, to leading and growing many parts of our tech sector, and also providing a bridge for NZ tech businesses to engage with south-east Asia.
“The credit really goes to the entire leadership and management team at Augen which shares our collective vision and actually make things happen across all three fronts,” Pham says.
He says New Zealand suffers from acute shortage of skilled professionals to support the growth innovation and technology development. Kiwi entrepreneurs and business organisations are being held back by the country's small population and limited talent pool, which will take a long time to grow incrementally.
His vision for the Augen group is to help unlock the opportunity for Kiwi businesses to accelerate their growth through tapping into the wealth of human capital in other parts of the world, especially Asia, where tech talent are more abundant.