About Us

A clever play on the letters D(efence) I(nnovators) & I(ndustry) A(ssociation), the logo brilliantly combines a weapon, in the form of missile, with a lamp that shines for multiple unique things - the wordplay on DIIA as an Indian lamp - Diya, the undying flame of self-reliance and the symbolism of a lamp or a torch for dissemination of knowledge and awareness - apt for a public policy advocacy organization such as ours.

Smita Purushottam Image
Smita Purushottam


Defence Innovators & Industry Association (DIIA)

DIIA is an SME focused association of Indian Defence Companies with the conviction that Design and Development is the fastest way to Self-Reliance in Defence. DIIA champions the view point that self-sufficiency in defence can be achieved through government policies that pro-actively encourage indigenous R&D. It provides a platform for like-minded organisations to rally around, collaborate and co-operate to forge ahead in making ‘Design, Develop and Make by India’ a sustainable initiative. DIIA believes that indigenously designed, developed and manufactured products should be given higher preference than the products that are manufactured under ToT, whether licensed or bought-out.

DIIA was born after years of hard work done by the High Tech Defence Innovation Forum – started by Defence Innovation Forum – started by Smt. Smita Purushottam – to get people involved who thought that Innovation was very important in Defence. The group members of the forum, led by Ms Smita Purushottam, have dedicated themselves to fight against status quo while stressing the importance of innovation. DIIA is the outcome of the very hard work done by numerous members of this forum and has been inspired by the ideas, passion and dedication provided by the Group.


Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable, implacable place. It is not. With the slightest push-in just the right place-it can be tipped
- Malcolm Gladwell

DIIA's theory of change is a three step model – policy gap identification, consensus formation and finally, advocacy of the solution.

It seeks to build consensus on policy solutions among a critical mass of people in order to ‘tip’ the policy discourse and address the crisis of self-reliance in defence.


Policy Gap Identification

Member community identifies a policy gap which is affecting the defence industrial base and the hi-tech innovation ecosystem.


Consensus Formation

DIIA initiates a series of engagements – Conferences, Seminars, Roundtables, Industry delegations, etc. – to connect the industry and build consensus among the members on the most appropriate policy solution.


Advocacy of the Solution

The policy solution is shared with the Government and its various agents and agencies, across all levels. Thought products such as Reports, Policy Briefs, etc. are our tools for advocating policy change. Industry delegations and conferences are launched to allow top government functionaries to engage directly with the robust DIIA community and thought partner on solving the policy issues.

Boards of directors

Rahul Chaudhry

CEO - Tata Power SED

Ashok Atluri

Chairman and MD ZenTechnologies

Mukesh Bhargava

VP Larsen & Toubro Ltd

RK Tyagi

Strategy Advisor in Aerospace, Defense and Energy Sectors

Ajey Bharti

BDO - Swadeshi Jagran Manch

Sunil Handoo

Group Director-Sales Tejas Networks Ltd

Rajiv Nayan

Senior Research Associate - Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses


Koshtub Vohra
Kamalpreet Singh Gill
Dipshi Swara
Srishti Sharma

Allied organizations