Venkatakrishnan hails from Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. He did his B. Sc Chemistry in MDT Hindu College, Tirunelveli and proceeded to NIT Trichy for pursuing his M. Sc in Applied Chemistry. He then moved to IIT Kanpur for carrying out his Ph. D in organic materials for application in OLED and photochromic lenses. After 5 years of postdoctoral experience in France and Alberta, he joined the Department of Chemistry, IIT Madras as an Assistant Professor. His hobbies are listening to music, painting and photography.