Tech entrepreneur Mitchell Pham’s amazing journey from Vietnam to NZ and back again

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand. This week he talks to Mitchell Pham, founder of Augen Software Group.

If the last century was the American century, so far this has been the Asian century. The last three decades have seen amazing growth in wealth and geopolitical influence for a range of Asian countries, in large part due to new trade linkages around the world. And in the digital present, those linkages should only increase. One New Zealander working to help make this happen in both his own business and at an international level is Mitchell Pham.

Mitchell came to New Zealand from Vietnam, but a very different Vietnam to the one that exists now. He was 12 years old when he fled the country as a refugee, outrunning machine gun fire, surviving exposure to the elements and running out of food before being picked up by an Indonesian oil rig crew. He spent the next two years at four different refugee camps before finally arriving in New Zealand alone in the mid-1980s. Mitchell’s next challenge was to adjust to the New Zealand education system, but he thrived, meeting friends at university who he set up a company with that would eventually become the Augen Software Group.

Today, his software development company has offices across New Zealand and Vietnam. Mitchell is also a member of a number of national and international bodies helping to increase the quality of our digital landscape, including chair of the Digital Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and New Zealand’s representative on the Asia Society’s Global Council. He joined the podcast for a chat about his incredible journey, contributing to the industry and what’s next.

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