Military Wiki
A Sivathanu Pillai
Born 15 July 1947(1947-07-15) (age 75)
Nationality Indian
Citizenship Indian
Alma mater University of Madras (B.E.)
University of Pune (PhD)
Harvard University
Known for Known as Father of Brahmos Aerospace[1]
Awards Padma Shri
Padma Bhushan
Order of Friendship
Pillai is a close and personal friend[2] of Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam

A Sivathanu Pillai is an Indian scientist who formerly served as Chief Controller of Research and Development from year 1996 to 2014 and held the rank of "Distinguished Scientist" from year 1999 to 2014 at the Defence Research and Development Organisation at the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of India.[3] He is also the founder-CEO and Managing Director of the BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited.[4]

He previously served as Vice President of International Project Management Association[5] and as Special Secretary representing India in the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation.

He currently serves as Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra.[6]

Early life and education

Apathukatha Sivathanu Pillai was born in Nagercoil which was part of the erstwhile princely state of Travancore on 15 July 1947. He has completed his schooling at D.V.D. Higher Secondary School, Nagercoil. He earned his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Thigarajar College of Engineering in 1969. He then completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School (Class of 1991). He then earned PhD in Technology Management from University of Pune in 1996 and D.Sc from Tumkur University.[7]


Pillai’s four decades of experience in ISRO and DRDO made him a leader in the field of launch vehicles and guided missiles. He joined DRDO in 1986 and was the Programme Director of IGMDP under the leadership of A. P. J. Kalam. He contributed to the successful development of SLV III as a core team member and to the evolution of PSLV configuration for ISRO. In August 2007 he was given a third extension of his retirement date by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.[8][9][10]

Brahmos Aerospace

Pillai is regarded as the Father of BRAHMOS,[11] the joint venture between India and Russia to design, develop, produce and market the supersonic cruise missile BrahMos and he is the Chief Executive and Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace. In 2007, under his leadership as CEO of Brahmos Aerospace, the company bought Kerala Hitech Industries Limited. It has been then converted into Brahmos Aerospace Trivandrum Limited, the second missile making unit of BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited for a world-class missile facility with system integration and testing.[12][13]

Awards and honours

Year of Award or Honor Name of Award or Honor[14][15] Awarding Organization
2014 Lifetime Achievement Award[16] Rotary International.
2014 Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award[17][18] Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management.
2014 Order of Friendship[19] President of Russia.
2013 Padma Bhushan[20] President of India.
2009 DRDO Technology Leadership Award Prime Minister of India.
2009 Level A certification of Project Directorship The International Project Management Association (IPMA), Switzerland.
2008 Honorary Doctorate Thapar University, India.
2007 Honorary Doctorate Avinashilingam University, India.
2006 Honorary Doctorate Bharathiar University, India.
2006 Honorary Doctorate State Marine Technical University of St. Petersburg, Russia.
2006 Honorary Doctorate Andhra University, India.
2006 Raja Rammohan Puraskar Award Ministry of Defence.
2005 DRDO Performance Excellence Award Ministry of Defence.
2005 Honorary Doctorate Sathyabama University, India.
2005 Honorary Doctorate Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, India.
2003 The Order of the Peter the Great and the Academician of the University The Moscow University of Security, Defence and Law Enforcement, Russia.
2003 Award for dedicated service, co-operation, development and peace OISCA International, Japan.
2002 Padma Shri President of India.
2001 Dr. Davidson Frame Award University of Technology & Management, USA.
1988 DRDO Scientist of the year Ministry of Defence.

Books, Research Papers and Journals

Sivathanu Pillai is a published author and co author of several books, research papers and journals.

  • The Path Unexplored (Publisher: Pentagon Press, Publication Year: 2014; ISBN 9788182747906).
  • Thoughts For Change - We Can Do It (Publisher: Pentagon Press, Publication Year: 2012; EAN: 9788182747074).
  • Envisioning an empowered nation: technology for societal transformation (Publisher: Tata McGraw-Hill Pub. Co., 2004; ISBN 978-0-07-053154-3).
  • Technology Leadership – A Revolution in the Making: defining the future visionary leaders (ISBN 9780070583283).
  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Engineering: (Publisher: World Scientific, 2010; ISBN 978-981-4277-92-1).
  • Ocean Warfare: The Technology Waves (Publisher: Manas Publications, 2006; ISBN 978-81-7049-239-9).
  • Revolution In Leadership – Building Technology Competence (ISBN 9788182745520).
  • Nanotechnology Engineering in Nano- and Bio-Medicine: Devices and Applications (ISBN 9780470758632)


  1. "NITT’s four-day fest gets underway". 24 February 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  2. "President Kalam gets museum in his honour". July 7, 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  3. "Profile, DRDO India: Sivathanu Pillai". DRDO, Ministry of Defence of Government of India. 4 June 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  4. "Profile, Brahmos India: Sivathanu Pillai". BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited. 4 June 2011. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  5. "The Executive Board members of the International Project Management Association — Remits for year 2011 and 2012". International Project Management Association. 31 July 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  6. "Dr. A. Sivathanu Pillai, Chairperson Board of Governors". National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  7. "Sivathanu Pillai conferred Padma Shri". DRDO, Ministry of Defence of Government of India. May 2002. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  8. "DRDO disowns chief controller, says he is retired". The Sunday Guardian. November 17, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2013. 
  9. "A Sivathanu Pillai: Extension as DRDO chief tenure extended". The Indian Express. 31 July 2007. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  10. "Fight to retain India’s leading missile scientist". Daily News and Analysis. India. 31 July 2007. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  11. "PROFILE - BrahMos aerospace his baby". The Tribune. 5 December 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  12. "Missile man of India Sivathanu Pillai describes BrahMos plans". The Hindu. 31 December 2007. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  13. "BrahMos takes over KELTEC". The Hindu. 6 December 2007. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  14. "Official CV and full Profile: Sivathanu Pillai". Brahmos Aerospace, India. 4 June 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  15. "Sivathanu Pillai receives the Technology Leadership Award for year 2009 on May 26, 2010 from Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for his outstanding leadership in design, development, production and marketing of the BrahMos missile". DRDO, Ministry of Defence of Government of India. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  16. "After Missions to Moon and Mars, World Vies to Mine Heavenly Bodies". The New Indian Express. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  17. "AS Pillai, father of BrahMos, gets Lal Bahadur Shastri Award". Business Line. October 8, 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  18. "President of India presented the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award 2014". October 7, 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  19. "Russia honours BrahMos chief with 'Order of Friendship' award". Business Standard. February 26, 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  20. "BrahMos chief A Sivathanu Pillai to be conferred Padma Bhushan". The Economic Times. April 19, 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 

Further reading

  • Sieff, Martin (2009). Shifting superpowers: the new and emerging relationship between the United States, China, and India. Cato Institute. ISBN 978-1-935308-21-8. 
  • Frankel, Francine R. (1995). Bridging the nonproliferation divide: the United States and India. University Press of America. ISBN 978-0-8191-9943-0. 
  • Kalam, A P J Abdul (2010). Ignited Minds : Unleashing the Power within India. Pearson Education India. ISBN 978-81-317-2960-1. 

External links


Business positions
New title CEO and MD of BrahMos Aerospace
Succeeded by
Sudhir Mishra

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).