Master Vinayak was Born in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India. He married Sushila and fathered 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 stepbrother 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 controversial for having the leading lady (played by Meenakshi Shirodkar) in a bathing suit.