Did You Know…Carly Has Real World First-Hand Experience with the Global Economy

By: Team CARLY
November 25, 2015

Under Carly’s leadership, HP grew from operating in 120 countries in 1999 to operating in 170 countries in 2005. Many of these countries that HP expanded into were developing regions, like Africa, that other major technology companies largely ignored.  But Carly understood that HP needed to get into business in these emerging markets not only to grow the size and scope of the company but also because HP’s technology could make a real difference in people’s lives.

In 2004, economist Thomas Friedman highlighted one of HP’s public-private partnerships in India in his book The World Is Flat:

“Collaboration in poverty alleviation is not just for NGOs. It is also for multinational corporations. The rural poor in India, Africa, and China represent a huge market, and it is possible to make money there and serve them – if companies are ready to collaborate horizontally with the poor.  One of the most interesting examples I have come across of this form of collaboration is a program run by Hewlett-Packard…

“After the visioning sessions were complete, HP employees spent more time in the village just observing how people lived.  One technological thing missing in their lives was photography. Conway explained: ‘We noticed there was a big demand for having pictures taken for identification purposes, for licenses, for applications and government permits, and we said to ourselves, ‘Maybe there is an entrepreneurial opportunity here if we can turn people into village photographers.’ There was one photo studio in downtown Kuppam. Everyone around [is a] farmer. We noticed that people would come back in from villages on a bus, spend two hours, get their pictures taken, come back a week later for the pictures, and find out that were not done or done wrong. Time is important for them as for us.  So we said, ‘Wait a minute, we make digital cameras and portable printers. So what is the problem?’ Why doesn’t HP sell them a bunch of digital cameras and printers? The villagers came back with a very short answer: ‘Electricity.’ They had no assured supply of electricity and little money to pay for it.

“‘So we said, ‘We are technologists. Let’s get a solar panel and put it on a backpack on wheels and see if there is a business for people here, and for HP, if we make a mobile photo studio.’ That is the approach we took.  The solar panel can charge both the camera and the printer.  Then we went to a self-help women’s group. We picked five women and said, ‘We will train you how to use this equipment.’ We gave them two weeks of training.  And we said, ‘We will provide you will the camera and supplies, and we will share revenue with you on every picture.’’  This was not charity.  Even after buying all their supplies from HP and sharing some of the revenue with HP, the women in the photography group doubled their family incomes. ‘And to be honest, what we found out was that less than 50 percent of the pictures took were for identification pictures and the rest were people just wanting pictures of their kids, weddings, and themselves,’ said Conway.  The poor like family photo albums as much as the rich and are ready to pay for them. The local government also made this women’s group its official photographers for public works projects, which added to their income.”

As Carly often says, technology can make a significant difference in the world. That’s why we need a leader like Carly Fiorina who understands technology and how to use it to improve people’s lives. Government bureaucracy often tells us what can’t be done. We need a leader who will think strategically and change the status quo and turn the “impossible” into the “possible.” We need a leader who will fix the problem of a bloated government bureaucracy that doesn’t help the people it is intended to serve and transform how government operates so it actually serves Americans across the country. If Carly’s leadership at HP helped solve the problem of needing pictures in a third-world environment, how much more can we look forward to Carly’s leadership in the White House ensuring that our veterans receive the timely care that they deserve?