Short Biography of Tony Lai
Tony Lai is an orphan, a survivor of the Killing Fields, a successful entrepreneur, the founder of Computer Now LLC, Khmer TV Inc., and the author of “An Orphan of the Killing Fields. Available on amazon”
When he was 12 years old, his country was upended and the communist rulers took control and enforced their ruthless power on the people. He was forced to work, beaten and buried alive, but with his luck he survived. He left Cambodia and immigrated to New Zealand when he was 20 years old in 1983. He goes to school full time during the day and works full time in the restaurant after school. When he came to the US in 1987, he was penniless and he only expected to stay for just a few weeks, but his aunt arranged for him to marry his wife so that he could stay close to her. He begins to work in the sweat shop in downtown LA, making about $25 a day. After 6 months, he went to work for a jewelry store, and a few years later, he pooled the money with his family to open a donut shop in Los Angeles. Only 2 years into the business, the Rodney King riot burned his business down to the ground. He started a new fast food business, but it did not go well. He was depressed and felt despair. He began to learn real estate and became a Realtor. At the same time, he learned how to build computers and networks. He was juggling many jobs and working over 16 hours a day every day to support his family. In 1997, he started his Computer Now business to help his realtor and mortgage friends set up their businesses. The computer business went really well, and it reduced a lot of his stress. After 10 years in the computer business, he became debt free and mortgage free. He purchased several properties and land in California and Arizona.
He added a VoIP and business phone system to his computer business in 2007, serving many auto dealers in Los Angeles and Maui. He opened the one and only Khmer TV in 2013. When he opened Khmer TV, many people expected him to last only a few months, but it is now 9 years and counting. In 2015, he purchased a building in Bellflower and used it as a studio and broadcasting station for the television station.
Tony has worked very hard throughout his life and only began to take a real vacation after 19 years of working over 16 hours a day.
The television station has been the only Cambodian community plate form to connect local Cambodians in Long Beach and abroad. The Cambodian community leaders have entirely depended on Khmer TV to help them broadcast news and cultural events to the community. He is currently running both business as well as hosting many shows on his TV channel.
Tony embraced “ASK” (Attitude, Self-discipline, and Knowledge) to help guide him throughout his life. His mantra is “Play Dumb, you may learn, Play Dead, you may live; and the power of A.S.K. may make you successful.”