An engineer by profession, Karthik Narayanan (1938) was born in Calcutta and had his early education in Tuticorin. He is an industrialist and heads companies that manufacture automobile components. He has occupied a number of important positions like the President of the Association of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, President of the Automobile Research Association of India, Chairman of the Southern Region of the Association of Indian Engineering Industry, Member of the Senate of the Annamalai University.
Steeped in South Indian history, its arts and culture, KN is an avid reader of all the novels “Kalki” wrote, and is an accomplished player o of the percussion instrument the mridangam. KN is also an enthusiastic traveller, trekking in Himalayas being a favourite hobby.
Married to Uma who is an accomplished translator of French and Tamil books and Managing Trustee of the SOS Children's Villages of India-Chatnath Homes and the Karna Prayag Trust, KN has a son Ramgopal, daughter Gayathri and a granddaughter Niveditha.