“Civil Services Examination is really unpredictable; the best you can do is, give your best” says Abhishek Surana (AIR 10; CSE 2017)

Abhishek Surana from Rajasthan has secured 10th Rank in Civil Services Examination 2017.

For him, it has been an outstanding exposure to different worlds; as an investment banker, entrepreneur Abhishek had spent quite some time working outside India; and later, decided to come back to India to try his luck with Civil Services Examination.

In his last attempt Abhishek secured 250th rank in CSE 2016 and now, in his fourth attempt he reached the final destination ensuring career in coveted Indian Administrative Services.


An IITian Abhishek Surana’s career journey started with Barklays and later, floated a company with friends in Chile. While working in Chile, he realized that he want to work in India and ‘Civil Services’ is where he desire to be.

The reason – the diversity of opportunity that civil services provide to work in various sectors in different capacity was the key motivating factor. Commenting on his career move Abhisheksaid,Because I feel ‘Civil Services’ provides most diverse set of opportunities to work in the country. Moreover, there are lifelong learning opportunities in these services which are unparalleled. Also services like IAS, IPS, IFoS provides connect with people which any other job can’t even come close.”

He knew it well that it was a big risk he was taking; but, he was not concerned as if his capabilities would be judged by Civil Services Examination outcome. When you are result focused, fortunate turns of luck sometimes works wonders.

Pointing out the inspirational source, Abhishek said, “I looked up to toppers from previous years with similar academic background. Fortunately for me there were quite a few from my own college. I always use to listen and read toppers’ interviews as these worked as a starting set of impetus. I also use to look for their strategy as to what is the common thing among them which is working.”

Abhishek was influenced by Gaurav Agarwal (AIR 1, CSE 2013) who has lots of similarities as he also belonged to Rajasthan, was also in investment banking who with a realistic preparation accomplished the task in style.

Acknowledging the source of inspiration Abhishek said, “I also think that reading previous year's topper's interview and following their blog has helped me immensely in preparing for this exam. I got the right advice on preparation plan from previous years' topper's blog especially Gaurav Agarwal Sir. Besides, I also got inspiration from Manish Bansal Sir (AIR 53; 2013) and Rishav Gupta Sir (AIR 37; 2013).”

With self-assurance when he commenced preparation, he opted for one of the subjects that he had studied lot- Physics as optional subject. His interest, aptitude and scoring nature of subject helped his make choice in favour of Physics.

After completing ground work, Abhishek appeared in Civil Services Examination and Indian Forest Service Examination as well. Last year he cracked both the examination and got 250th rank in CSE 2016 and 2nd rank in Indian Forest Service Examination. With this selection Abhishek got IPS.

Divulging his motivation for renewed effort in this attempt, he said, “I continued my endeavors that helped me in accomplishing my Goal this time as I cherish the lifelong learning experience that comes while working in Indian Administrative Service.”

Unwavering support from family and blessings of my teachers have contributed the most in my success. 

Briefing about family and their contribution in his success Abhishek said, “My father is a lecturer in Physics at the Government College in Bhilwara and my mother is homemaker. My younger sister is computer engineer. My family is my strength as they never raised any question why I left such lucrative opportunities abroad or why I am taking risk of trying my luck with Civil Services Examination.

Revealing his response when he heard this news, Abhishek said, “No I wasn’t sure of top rank this year; although, I knew that I could make it to the final list. I was in utter disbelief for some time as this rank was beyond expectation. I had to cross check the result from independent sources before it could sink in.”

Abhishek has Hobbies in Astrophysics, Cooking, Travel Photography, Reading memoirs.

Advice the future aspirants

Sharing his opinion Abhishek said, “You should cultivate a good reading habit. Also be open to feedback and new ideas. You should have a rounded personality to clear this exam. Don’t think in extremes. Be humble like a cow. Think positive and work hard. Success will be yours.”


Know Abhishek Surana's Preparation-Plan: “Don’t be disheartened by failures - make them a learning experience”; says Abhishek Surana (AIR 10; CSE 2017)
Last Update Tuesday 16th July 2019     

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