All-India UPSC topper leaves lucrative job to serve country
All-India UPSC Topper Leaves Lucrative Job To Serve Country. When the results of the prestigious Indian civil services exam were declared on June 12,...
When the results of the prestigious Indian civil services exam were declared on June 12, all-India topper Gaurav Agrawal was busy with the training at the police academy in Hyderabad.
The Jaipur boy, who has always wanted to join the Indian Administrative Service, had cracked the exam last year too. But at rank 244, he could not make the cut for the IAS. It did not deter him from his dream; he worked hard and what a fairy tale ending he's had!
A bright student, Gaurav is an IIT and IIM alumnus with many achievements to his credit.
In 2002, he had cracked the tough Joint Entrance Examination and joined the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Five years later, he emerged victorious from the Common Admission Test and joined the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.
Soon after completing his Masters in Business Administration, Gaurav landed a plum job at Citigroup's Hong Kong investment banking division that paid him a whopping annual package that earned him more than one crore rupees.
"But, even as I left India, I knew I would return one day," Agrawal said. "I was with Citi for three years, from 2008 to 2011. Then I came back and started preparing for the civil services exam."
His fairy tale has an interesting personal twist: He got married this month. In fact, he appeared for the personal interview just four days before his wedding.
Inspiration and values in life
My biggest inspiration is my father. My parents taught me to value patience, honesty, education and the need to keep away from greed. I know for sure that I will be an honest and upright IAS officer.
I'm not sure if I can call these success mantras but these are my learnings from my experiences so far.
Successes and failures are part of life. Everybody fails, everybody succeeds. But when you fail, you should not let it dishearten you.
In fact, failures should be taken as learnings and one should use them to improve oneself.
Second, we should have the courage to admit our mistakes and accept our weaknesses.
Generally, we try to brush them aside, close our eyes and forget about them. After looking at these negatives, one should try to analyse them and improve upon them.
Your advice to India’s youth
Have faith in your abilities.
Be optimistic. If you remain a pessimistic and think nothing will change in India because the system is corrupt, then definitely nothing will happen. Only hope will allow you to make the effort to change the system.
The decision to quit investment banking job in Hong Kong
I agree that the money (one earns as an IAS or IPS officer) is definitely not as much as the kind of money you can make working as an investment banker. But the job profile and the satisfaction you get as a government servant is something that money cannot buy.
This is a field job where we get to reach out to common people in India, understand their problems and find creative solutions to solve them.
When I left Citigroup I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that I was doing the right thing. I was convinced I had to quit the job and start preparing for the IAS.
Job profile in Hong Kong
I was a credit derivatives trader.
In my first year, I traded in convertible bonds. In my second year, I traded in local currency bonds and interest rate swaps.
In the year I quit, I traded in structured credit.