He was born in a Vaishnavite family. His father was Manimohan Mullick. He studied at the Scottish Church College in Calcutta in the 1920s. Right from his childhood, Pankaj was attracted to music, but his father was not interested. On a visit to their house, the acclaimed singer Durgadas Bandyopadhyay heard him sing and thereafter gave him training in (Hindustani)classical music. Later, Pankaj learnt Rabindra Sangeet from Dinendranath Tagore and went on to be known as the First Man of Rabindra Sangeet. His rendition of several songs of Tagore gained immense popularity among the masses. He was also one of the lucky few who had the honour to set to tune a few of Tagore's poems (notably Diner Seshe Ghumer Deshe) and sing them with grand success. In 1926, his cut his first record: Nemechhe aaj pratham badal. He was associated with the Indian Broadcasting Company right from its inception in 1927. Under his direction, Sangeet Sikshar Asarbecame a pulsating lively programme. He was the music composer of the most popular programme ever to be broadcast by Akashvani: Mahisasuramardini. In 1975, he retired from Sangeet Sikshar Asar. In the field of music, his genius has manifest itself in myriad forms: singer, teacher, director, actor. as a music director, his first film was Dena Paona. He composed the music for a great many films like Bhagyachakra, Daktar, Kashinath, Bardidi, Raikamal, Kapalkundala, Mahaprasthaner Pathe, etc. The last film that he composed music for was Jahnabi Jamuna Bigalita Karuna.He was also closely associated with the New Theatres Calcutta. He gained popularity as a singer actor in Pramathesh Barua's Mukti. He has acted in several other films. His use of Rabindra Sangeet in films is proof of his sensitivity and his knowledge of the genre. On the request of Chief Minister of West Bengal Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, he set up the "Loka Ranjan Sakha" of the Government of West Bengal. He received a number of awards in his long career. In 1932, he was awarded the title "Surasagar" by the Saraswat Mahamandal. In 1970, he received Padmasree and, as already mentioned, he received the Dadasaheb Phalke award in 1973.