It’s all about people for Montecasino’s newly appointed Public Relations Manager, Lisa Sukdev. She initially believed her career would be in law, but after a short time in a legal firm, she realised it wasn’t for her and gravitated to communications.
Sukdev, who grew up in Phoenix in Durban, maintains that good public relations people are born – with training only enhancing their ability. “I am naturally a people’s person and a strong communicator. One of my strengths is an ability to identify opportunities and run with them, which stands me in good stead in this industry that demands constant innovation.”
Sukdev studied Sales and Marketing Management followed by Public Relations at Damelin, and then Business Management at University of KwaZulu-Natal. She started working at East Coast Radio in 1997, supporting the marketing team leaders and running the department when they were away.
She was then appointed Public Relations Manager for Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Umhlanga, where her achievements include the Gold Footprint Award from the SA Council of Shopping Centres and the Maxi Award from the International Council of Shopping Centres.
In 2007 Sukdev headed Zoey Events and Marketing in Durban as Marketing and PR Executive, responsible for securing new business, conceptualising campaigns and events, and oversight of execution.
She moved to Montecasino to enjoy the challenge of being part of “Gauteng’s premier entertainment destination’ ” and says what she loves most about this new position – which she considers a highlight of her career – is the people. “I am surrounded by dynamic individuals, driven and successful in their respective areas. I have the utmost respect for what they do and the level of excellence they are determined to achieve, no matter the situation.”
At Montecasino, Sukdev aims to foster mutually beneficial relationships with media, influencers and celebrities, while also “maintaining and improving the public perception of the wonderful things that Montecasino does, not just for our guests but for the communities around us as well. I am passionate about employee morale and drive, as such I want to ensure that our staff always agree that Montecasino is the best place to work.”
Sukdev says her role model is Barry Roberts of Proprint, who was her mentor at the Rotary Club of Umhlanga, where she was appointed president. She appreciated his can-do attitude, generosity, wisdom and courage, integrity. “The world needs more Barrys, people who see what needs to be done, don’t procrastinate, and who put it together and roll it out. It’s good to know that there are honest people out there, making a significant difference – one community at a time.”
Sukdev includes in her list of skills, stunt car driver, wooden spoon wielder, diplomat, and excellent negotiator, and her interests as reading (she is currently reading Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Marcus Buckingham), cooking, and community development, which she is passionate about. “I know that my purpose in life is to impact people and effect positive change, so I am always looking for opportunities to live that.” She also loves travelling and being a tourist in South Africa, which “has so much to offer.” Sukdev has a son who is 18 and at university.