Sanjay Vinayak Joshi was born in Nagpur on 6th April 1962. He got his primary education from Nagpur. After doing his  Mechanical Engineering from VNIT, Nagpur, he started his career as a lecturer in an engineering college in Maharashtra. But soon he resigned from his job to become a full-time pracharak (volunteer) in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Maharashtra. Noting his organizational acumen, he was asked to join BJP in Gujarat in 1988, where the party was politically weak that time. He is known for his good rapport with grass root level workers.

Sanjay Vinayak Joshi became a leading figure in BJP politics in Gujarat. From 1988 to 1995, he worked closely with Narendra Modi as a secretary of Gujarat BJP. A former colleague, Gordhan Zadafia has said of him that “He is a silent worker with immense capability and is popular and loved by party workers”. Owing to his hard work BJP came in power for the first time in Gujarat with Keshubhai Patel as Chief Minister in 1995.

In the year 1998 he became State General Secretary (Organisation) in Gujarat due to his good rapport and organizational acumen.

He became National General Secretary (Organisation) of BJP in 2001 and shifted to Delhi. During his 2001-2005 tenure as National General Secretary (Organization), he led the organization that enabled BJP to win Assembly elections in five states (Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh).