The £95million deal for the club represents loose change to the 71-year-old, who is South East Asia's third-richest man worth £4.5billion.
Other consortia remain in the running to buy Newcastle United.
But after making the first significant move in the drawn-out sale, Krishnan is the favorite to take control after meeting Ashley's drastically-reduced asking price - almost £40m less than the sportswear tycoon paid in 2007.
The owner-in-waiting is believed to favor Alan Shearer to be the club's manager.
Ananda..favors Shearer as Manager
Like Ashley, Krishnan has kept a low profile as he has built up a powerful business portfolio which includes major interests in oil, entertainment, telecoms and shipping.
Over the years, he has donated millions of pounds to charities and a source said: "Mr Krishnan shuns public exposure and likes to keep a low profile for someone of his stature."
Figures have yet to be confirmed but a significant kitty would be made available for Shearer to use in the transfer market.