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From startup to unicorn: how inDrive impacts local communities

How does a startup, founded far from the advantages and resources of the world’s tech hubs, go on to reach unicorn status? And more deeply, just how far can the drive for meaning and purpose ultimately take you? The inDrive documentary sets out to answer these questions.

In an exclusive premier in Johannesburg, South Africa, the inDrive documentary offered audiences a rare glimpse into the heart and soul of the company, with never-before-seen footage and candid stories from the individuals at inDrive’s roots, including founder and CEO Arsen Tomsky.

 Far from being a run-of-the-mill corporate film, this narrative delves deep into the butterfly effect of positive impact, illustrating how inDrive’s initiatives have rippled through communities, creating waves of change that extend far beyond their initial touchpoints.

 In the frozen Yakutsk winter, a group of people band together against the unfair price collusion of taxi companies that leaves people stranded in the cold. One of them starts a social media group where people can request and offer rides, negotiating prices on their own terms.

 It’s a simple enough idea, but it carries the potential to be revolutionary. From this frozen seed, a collective stance against injustice, inDrive takes root. Today, the company has grown to become the world’s second largest ride-hailing app, operating in over 700 cities in 46 countries, fuelled by deep-seated ideals and ambitions that extend far beyond profit.

 inDrive wants to reimagine capitalism, no less: to put people back in control, restore their freedom to choose, and so make their lives better.

 Among the heartwarming tales shared, the film follows the journey of Obadiah, a young Nigerian boy once enveloped in the despair of his surroundings. inDrive’s Beginit initiative is now paving the way for a brighter future for him and many others.

 Reflecting on the film and its message, inDrive Founder and CEO Arsen Tomsky said: “We should focus on the path, on the journey. And if you do something important for you, that is very meaningful for you, and you develop an external environment during that journey, you are getting more and more with each step. And that is something which nobody can take from you. Even if you don’t reach a peak, you will have something available to you.”

 The production is directed by Lagos/Nairobi-based, Emmy Award winner Dan McCain, and Greek producer and editor Theo Papadoulakis, each renowned for their talents in portraying everyday individuals facing remarkable situations. Dan is a prolific filmmaker who specializes in locally relevant and impactful storytelling, while Papadoulakis, recognized with over 70 international accolades, particularly excels in showcasing the resilience of the human spirit.

 “In making this film with inDrive, we hope to honor the resilience and determination of individuals whose dreams lead to something profound. It’s a privilege to be part of a multi-country international production, collaborating with other talented directors, where we weave together inspiring narratives that add to the epic tale of human potential,” said Dan McCain.

 Person by person, the documentary tells inDrive’s story. From the remarkable individuals in Nigeria, Indonesia, Mexico and beyond, who use the ride-hailing app to take control of their futures, to the communities who take their chance to move forward.

 From Arsen Tomsky, the company’s visionary CEO, who overcomes challenges both personal and social to take an idea to the world, to the employees who come on board to help inDrive evolve and grow, fuelled by shared values and a common goal. It’s an epic journey, told by connecting people around the world. And it’s far from over.

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