Purpose: This research explores the significant contribution of human resource development (HRD) managers in building organisational brands in the hotel industry through the lenses of dynamic capabilities for sustaining competitiveness. Design/methodology/approach: Using a qualitative case study design, this study deployed a semi-structured interview research method. It used a purposive sample of 20 HRD managers across twenty different hotels in India and South East Asia (ISEA) to explore their contribution to organisational brands. The data was analysed using thematic analysis. Findings: The findings show the significance of HRD in building organisational brands. From a dynamic capabilities perspective, it was found that HRD has an impact on fostering brand awareness culture; HRD functional branding enhances the creation and sustaining of quality service culture; functional branding of HRD helps differentiate the brand and quality service, for product development and innovation by linking talent development and growth of key competencies and capabilities; brand training and behavioural training directly influence the right behaviour knowledge and effective communication that is translated into the enhancement of guest experience; and finally, organisational branding through branding culture and employer branding creates organisational wealth. Originality/value: The authors propose a new conceptual framework for the branding of the Heroes to reclaim the HRD's splendour in the realm of other functions in the hotel industry in ISEA contexts. While the authors do not claim an external generalisability, we believe that an analytical application of this framework could be relevant in similar environments. The study also claims that HRD practitioners could use parallel literature repertoires from brand management discourse to value their strategic contributions in building and maintaining their reputational position at the board level. Practical implications and further research are discussed.