Post-Coup Myanmar: What is life like for Overseas Burmese? Brandon Aung

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Overseas Burmese - Pre & Post Coup Myanmar

Before the 2021 coup, Myanmar was experiencing rapid economic growth (more than 7% per annum), with poverty falling from 48% to 25% between 2005 and 2017. This growth attracted many overseas investors that were attracted by the opportunities in the country, with many overseas Burmese choosing to come back after their studies abroad.

However, this trend has reversed drastically with the double whammy of COVID and the 2021 coup. Listen to this podcast episode to get some insights into what life was like pre & post-coup in Myanmar as a young professional.

About Brandon Aung

Born in Myanmar, Brandon quit medical school to pursue his passion for finance in Australia. However, he was unable to find a finance job as an international student (I’ve discussed this problem in a prior podcast) but he managed to secure a coveted private equity investment role back in Myanmar.

Unfortunately, Brandon left his home country after the 2021 coup and in this podcast interview, he details his life pre & post-coup as an overseas Burmese that has made his way around Australia, Sri Lanka and now, working for a Fortune 500 company in Thailand (topics & timestamps below).

Timestamps & Topics

Brandon’s Life as an International Student in Australia

  • 0:00 – Intro
  • 1:00 – Brandon’s background in Myanmar. Why he came to Australia
  • 3:31 – Was it hard to find a job in Australia as an international student?

Moving Back to Myanmar

  • 5:50 – Why did Brandon move back to Myanmar?
  • 9:40 – What happened post-coup in Myanmar?
  • 11:50 – Why were international companies investing in Myanmar pre-coup?
  • 13:45 – Myanmar’s ethnic groups & conflict?

Moving to Thailand

  • 17:30 – Why Brandon moved to Thailand & how he got stuck in Sri Lanka
  • 21:40 – What it’s like trying to get a job in Thailand & his process for securing a Fortune 500 role.
  • 26:45 – What is the business landscape in Thailand like? The vibrancy of life in Thailand.
  • 29:30 – What’s day to day life like in Thailand as an overseas Burmese? How do you compare your life in Australia vs Thailand vs Myanmar? Pros & Cons

Life as an overseas Burmese currently

  • 36:40 – What are other young Burmese doing (doctors / young professionals etc)? Both domestically and abroad?
  • 40:40 – Did you ever feel discriminated as an overseas Burmese minority?

Future Plans, Startup Chat & Conclusion

  • 43:05 – Brandon’s future plans? Taking risks, startups, & returning to Myanmar?
  • 46:11 – What is Thailand’s startup scene like?
  • 50:45 – What would Brandon do if the situation in Myanmar improves?
  • 52:00 – Some chitchat. The background to BordersLess, why I set up a YouTube channel/podcast. Conclusion