BiB030: Lessons in “Wai-ing” and Banking Regulations with Stephen Saad

On this episode of Brewed in Bangkok, Siddhant meets Stephen Saad, a former banker that has become an author and book distributor in Thailand. Stephen has written two Thai language books (check them out through the links in the “Resources Mentioned” section below) and is now writing his third. Arun Press is Stephen’s small book distribution business and through Arun Press, he helps English-language writers get their books published and placed in stores such as Asia Books right here in Thailand.

Before he moved to Bangkok, Stephen was a banker working mainly in compliance and regulation and even had a brief stint in Thailand before moving back to the UK and weathering the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Listen to Stephen talk about the role of banking regulators, the impact of the crisis on banking around the world, learning the Thai language from books, and much more!

About Stephen Saad

  • founder of Arun Press
  • author of 100 Thai Words That Make You Sound Thai: Thai For Intermediate Learners
  • author of 100 Thai Words To Start Speaking Thai: For Absolute Beginners and Tourists
  • is from the UK
  • once sold banking software in Thailand
  • worked in large banks in the UK
  • lost his job during the financial crisis
  • became a regulator
  • moved back to Thailand to take a break from banking
  • has made some sound investments in Bangkok condos

Topics Discussed Today

  • selling banking software in Thailand
  • making the move to banking regulation
  • disillusionment with the banking sector
  • too much or too little banking regulation?
  • the banking situation in Asia
  • Thailand and Thai culture in today’s economy
  • writing books about learning Thai
  • why expressing yourself in Thai within a context is impressive
  • learning Thai from non-Thais has its benefits too
  • the difference between Thai language books and Thai language classes
  • rookie mistakes of “Wai-ing”
  • getting into the book distribution business

Resources Mentioned


I had some help with this episode: Lou Pobjecky kindly helped me with a lot of the necessary audio edits to get the file in a listenable shape. Lou also put together the cover image.

Want More?

Lou is a podcast producer and audio engineer. He makes sure that the Brewed in Bangkok sounds as smooth as silk. You can find out more about him on LinkedIn.

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