Prof Pillay was appointed to the Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery 1967 as its first local professor. He laid down the foundation for the postgraduate programme in orthopaedics was laid. He was instrumental in getting the local Master of Medicine (Surgery) degree recognized by the University of Liverpool as an equivalent to the Diploma of the Royal College of Surgeons in the United Kingdom. This enabled local surgeons with the Master of Medicine (Surgery) degree to pursue the Master of Surgery Orthopaedic degree in Liverpool.
He was also instrumental for establishing the World Orthopaedic Concern, an international organization dedicated to improving the healthcare of patients with orthopaedic problems in poor countries. In particular, he was always keen on enhancing orthopaedic education and improving orthopaedic treatment for patients in Asia. He became one of the founding members of the World Orthopaedic Concern. This organization was established in Singapore in 1975.
He has also established training programmes in Indonesia from 1970, particularly in Jakarta and Makassar. In recognition of his contribution he was conferred the title of Honourable Academician of Makassar University in 2002.