Tessy Thomas could have been an IAS officer; she even wrote the exam. But she got an opportunity of having an interview with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). She is been selected and was asked to join immediately.

She is an Indian scientist and Director General of Aeronautical Systems and the former Project Director for Agni-IV missile in Defence Research and Development Organisation. She is the first woman scientist to head a missile project in India.

Today, Tessy Thomas is hailed as the ‘Missile Woman of India’ and ‘Agniputri ‘(one born of fire)

She was handpicked by our Former President “Father of Indian Missiles” Dr.A.P.J.Kalam to the missile projects.


Thomas is India’s first woman engineer to have directed a missile project. Now a scientist at DRDO, this Agniputri- as she is fondly addressed in the media, once used to be fascinated by the rocket launching station near her house. Graduated from Government Engineering College, Thrissur, in Kerala, this woman defined the ‘limits’ society had set and continues to define her own bounds. She has been the associate project director of the Agni-III missile project after which there was no turning back. She was also the also the project director of Agni-IV and Agni-V. Thomas was honored with the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for her work in making India self-sustaining in the field of missile technology.


On July 2006, a missile failed to meet desired parameters and the team had to face a lot of criticism. But stoic and steely-nerved Tessy took it as a challenge, working 12 to 16 hours a day, even on weekends. Unsurprisingly, within just ten months, the faults were efficiently ironed out to turn the failure into another success


Finally, the most striking aspect that the career of Tessy Thomas presents is the revolution thus created. The urge to explore an entirely new area- fresh, untrodden and full of uncertainties yet, waiting to be walked upon, the fear of failure, the unsureness of being successful, all these are sure to run through one’s mind before a revolution takes place. But once man passes these psychological barriers that hold them back, the only thing that lay ahead is a revolution.


India has always been picturised as that nation where a second thought is always given when it comes to educating a girl. Tessy Thomas has set forth a living example before all those who think being a girl can stop someone from fulfilling their dreams. In fact, her life also sets an example for all women over the world, which is afraid to explore new areas in their career.

Tessy Thomas grew up in an atmosphere where educating a girl child was considered to be a massive feat that any Indian parent ever performed. She has proven before every human, the power of a girl child. In such an environment our very own missile woman did not only make a mark in history but also continues to make it even more concrete by contributing for the nation’s welfare.

Besides serving the nation as an engineer, she also has a family to take care of and it is commendable that she manages both worlds with such dedication. The life of Tessy Thomas presents before us the importance of the support of one’s family.


Tessy Thomas sets before all of an example of what capable are we as humans. By channelizing our own potential along the correct lines, there is no limit to our success. She has set an example of how important a role does dedication and hard work play in developing an idea. More importantly she has proved that all it takes is an idea to step into a realm that no one else has ever thought of. Once we gather the courage to do that, our hard work paves the rest of the path for us.

“As school children we used to go on picnics to watch the rocket tests and I would be fascinated. Besides, I was always interested in science and mathematics,” she told AFP.

Such is her passion for Indian defence hardware that she named her college-age son Tejas — after India’s indigenously-built light. combat aircraft.

Facebook Comments