Jimmy Pham

Founder, KOTO International.


Jimmy Pham has been a pillar of the Hanoian community for over 22 years.

Born in Saigon but raised in Sydney, Jimmy keeps a foot in both camps which have allowed him to successfully operate in the hospitality sector in Vietnam, for over 20 years.

Jimmy’s long history operating the KOTO social enterprise has allowed him to develop extensive experience in the social justice space and vast business networks within Vietnam.

His high visibility among both expats and local Vietnamese has long been an asset that he has utilised by mentoring socially inclusive businesses into thriving institutions in Hanoi
through the Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion.

Current Work:

KOTO was founded by Jimmy Pham in 1996. It began as a small sandwich stall in Hanoi’s Old Quarter at the beginning of a period of rapid economic development for Vietnam.

That sandwich shop quickly evolved into a fine dining restaurant beside Hanoi’s Temple of Literature.

KOTO’s student numbers increased dramatically and it began to offer study tours, cooking courses, and catering. All of which are still available today.

In 2020, however, like many businesses around the world, KOTO was hit hard by the Coronavirus. As the tourist trade ground to a halt the Van Mieu restaurant, sadly, became no longer viable and needed to close its doors.

But KOTO’s staff, trainees, and leadership have never backed down from a challenge. In November of 2020, KOTO Villa opened in Hanoi’s Tay Ho district. A French colonial villa with room for over 100 people, it now feeds both Hanoi locals and visitors alike with a range of both local and foreign foods and continues to train some of Vietnam’s most at- risk and disadvantaged youth.

In 2021 Jimmy co-Founded VietHarvest an innovative new social enterprise founded in 2020 that collects quality surplus food and redistributes it to underserved communities in Vietnam, based on OzHarvest in Australia.