Narayanan Chandrakumar is an Indian chemical physicist and a professor of chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He graduated in chemistry from Loyola College, Chennai in 1970 and completed his master's degree at IIT Madras in 1972. His doctoral studies were at IIT Kanpur under the guidance of P. T. Narasimhan, a Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar laureate, which he completed in 1979 and joined Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) as a research associate in 1980. He served the institute till 2001, holding positions such as that of a scientist, head of the Physical Sciences Division and a director-grade scientist and moved to IIT Madras where he is a professor at the department of chemistry. He is the founder of the first Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) laboratory in India and is known for developing a new technique for NMR imaging and diffusion measurements. He is an elected fellow of the Indian National Science Academy and the Indian Academy of Sciences. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the apex agency of the Government of India for scientific research, awarded him the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology, one of the highest Indian science awards, in 1996, for his contributions to chemical sciences.