Boat Person Takes NZ Expertise Back to Vietnam
1 December 2005
One of the Boat People Takes NZ Expertise Back to Vietnam
One of the former boat people has been the driving force behind the formation of a New Zealand-owned IT company in Vietnam.
Augen is believed to be only the second New Zealand company to open offices in Vietnam and the sole software company to have a presence in both countries.
Their establishment in Vietnam was formally recognised earlier this week by The Governor-General of New Zealand, Dame Silvia Cartwright.
Dame Silvia, who was visiting Vietnam on a Trade Mission, marked the occasion during a formal luncheon in Ho Chi Minh City.
Augen Director, Mitchell Pham, escaped Vietnam in 1984 and lived in three separate camps in Indonesia before eventually arriving here as one of the boat people at the age of 13 in 1985.
After attending college in Auckland he, with three other final year Commerce students at Auckland University, founded Augen in 1993 to develop innovative software solutions. Since that time the company has prospered and now employs 20 specialist staff across offices in New Zealand and in Ho Chi Minh City.
He says the formal opening by the Governor-General recognised the opportunities for New Zealand companies in South East Asia.
“The Vietnamese information technology sector is now producing some of the most skilled professionals in the world today. The opening of our office in Ho Chi Minh City, provides access to this expertise and the creation of a virtual extension of our New Zealand business.
“We believe the only way forward in information technology today is through adopting a global approach to business. By expanding our business we have recognised the importance of both the local market within Vietnam and opportunities existing in South East Asia.”
Augen commenced operations in Vietnam by opening a branch office earlier this year.
“Since then we have been formally granted a licence by the Vietnamese Government to establish a stand-alone company as a subsidiary of our New Zealand business.”
Augen’s clients range from logistics to human resources companies; legal practices to some of New Zealand’s largest banking and insurance companies.
“We develop software to meet the specific requirements of our customers. Our global perspective gives us the ability to evolve software solutions to grow with our clients’ businesses, with the efficiencies working within an international market provides. Our people bring the necessary international expertise which enables us to readily understand and adapt to each business situation,” Mr Pham said.
“By working together in real time and leveraging from the time difference between the two countries, we can now provide our service for over 15 hours each day.”
Mr Pham concluded by saying Augen’s expansion into Vietnam’s growing market provided new opportunities for his company.
“We offer a full range of software services from requirements study right through to post implementation support.
“Opening our office in Ho Chi Minh City brings an entirely new dimension to our services. We are very excited about the future prospects for Augen in Vietnam, not only as an extension to our business in New Zealand, but also for the opportunities that abound in South East Asia.”