Master Vinayak was Born in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India. He married Sushila,. the couple's children are the late actress Nanda and film producer/director, Jayaprakash Karnataki.
Master Vinayak was related to many personalities in the Indian film industry. His brother Vasudev Karnataki became a cinematographer while his half-brother Baburao Pendharkar (1896–1967) became an acclaimed actor. He was maternal cousin of legendary film director V.Shantaram. Master Vinayak was a good friend of the Mangeshkar family and introduced Lata Mangeshkar to the film industry in his movie Pahilee Mangalagaur.
He co-founded Huns picture in 1936.
Amongst his work, he is best remembered for the 1938 Marathi film Brahmachari. It was considered[by whom?] controversial for having the leading lady (played by Meenakshi Shirodkar) in a bathing suit.