Former Vietnamese refugee and founder of the Augen Software Group, Mitchell Pham has been appointed chair of the New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTech).
NZTech said he was taking on the role at a crucial stage in New Zealand’s technology history; “The industry is accelerating at a phenomenal rate.”
Pham said NZTech needed to lift its game beyond the major cities. “Outside of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, our technology sector is still not yet widely or strongly connected. There is more work to be done in this area of development. It is an asset to us that our deputy chair [Rachel Kelly] is from the Waikato and is passionate about the opportunity to connect with the regions.”
He added: “Being a small economy, many of our tech businesses innovate for the global market. It is vital that we continue working to increase and expand our connection with the rest of the world.
“Technology has traditionally been lacking as part of the Kiwi story that we have been projecting to the world, especially in but not limited to regions such as Asia, where large local and regional digital economies and technology consumption appetite have been growing exponentially in recent years.”
According to his LinkedIn profile Pham is a director of the Augen Software Group, chairman of its operation in Vietnam, and co-founder of the Kiwi Connection tech hub – a platform for New Zealand technology businesses to accelerate engagement in the ASEAN region.
He is also a trustee of the Asia New Zealand Foundation and an advisor at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. He serves on the board of Health Informatics NZ, is a founding trustee of the Auckland Refugee Family Trust and the Foundation for Social Responsibility NZ.
He is member of the Ethnic People in Commerce network, the Asian Leaders Forum, and the NZ Superdiversity Council. Internationally, he is a member of the Strategic Alliance Vietnamese Ventures International Network, an executive of the global Vietnamese diaspora business network (BAOOV), and a New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) Beachheads Advisor to technology businesses for South East Asia.
He escaped from Vietnam by boat in 1984 and after spending time in an Indonesian refugee camp was accepted as a migrant into New Zealand.