Montecasino’s New Tables Manager – Thriving in the Industry
Marine biology was newly appointed Tables Manager of Montecasino Caroline Naidu’s dream job as a high school girl in Newcastle – but soon after joining the local Monte Vista Casino in 1999, where she intended to earn money for her tertiary education, the glamour and fast pace of the casino world captivated her and she is still passionate about it today.
Naidu had applied to the nearby casino for a waitressing job, but her skills and abilities were immediately spotted and she was offered a position in tables training. She excelled throughout her training and has moved around among the casinos in South Africa over the years, always making her mark and moving up the ladder. From Dealer, she became Supervisor, Pit Boss, Duty Manager, Assistant Tables Manager, and then Tables Manager. She has worked at Montecasino (briefly in 2000 as a Dealer), Emerald Casino in Vanderbijlpark, Suncoast in Durban for about 11 years until 2013, Golden Horse in Pietermaritzburg, Silverstar in Krugersdorp in 2015 and 2016, and to Montecasino as Tables Manager in 2017. All in all, she has spent 15 years of her career at Tsogo Sun casinos.
She describes her move to Montecasino as “the pinnacle of my career in Tables. Montecasino is Tsogo Sun’s flagship casino and joining the team as Tables Manager is everything I have aspired to for many years. I feel as if I have arrived!”
She has a team of 530 people and her aim is to take them to a level of ultra-high performance. “This is a leading casino and the best talent must be found here,” she says, adding that she’ll use the leadership skills she has honed over the years to facilitate, but never spoon-feed, growth. One of the challenges she is facing is learning everyone’s names – not just staff, but regular customers as well. To her it’s an important affirmation of the value that the people have in her life.
She says that the best advice she was given was to have positive people in her life. “I believe you’re only as great as the people you surround yourself with. Being positive is essential, it motivates you to achieve more and to take pleasure in life. At the same time, negative people – those who complain a lot and are pessimistic – need to be avoided. They don’t add value to life.”
Reflecting on what advice she would give to someone starting out in the gaming industry, she says, “Be committed – and remember to have fun in your job. Avoid a sense of entitlement, that the world – or the company you work for – owes you anything, and make use of the opportunities and chances to thrive that will come your way. There are so many different directions your life can take in this industry, explore them and take the route that suits you best.” She adds that treating the business she is working for as if it were her own, ensuring decisions are made with the best interests of the company at heart has always worked well for her.
For Naidu, the best thing about working for Tsogo Sun is the people, as well as the strong training and support she has been given over the years. “Apart from that, it’s the glitz and glamour, the variety of offerings within one company, the entertainment and great escapes all around the country, the constant vibrancy and excitement, and more.”
Naidu is a single mother of three, a 19-year-old son at university and two teen daughters, aged 14 and 13 in high school. Her spare time is devoted to them and to family activities, preferably outdoors, walking, picnicking, or playing board games, cooking, and chilling at home together. She also travels with them whenever she can, fulfilling her lifelong love of travelling.
Naidu says her mother is the person who inspires her most in life. As a single mom with two children, she survived with a positive attitude, teaching the children to not give up, and is now a strong support in Naidu’s life, acknowledging her achievements and reminding her of all that she has and is accomplishing. “It’s wonderful to get that reality check in my life periodically,” says Naidu.
At the moment she is re-reading a book by Spencer Johnson called The Present: The Secret to Enjoying Your Work and Life, Now! It was given to her years ago by her life coach and she felt a need to revisit the sentiment it expresses, focusing on the joy of now.