We demonstrate a negative relationship between pro-market reforms and the sustainability of superior profits in an emerging economy. The decline in sustainability of superior profits shows that pro-market reforms bring significant threats in addition to the various opportunities such as greater availability of production factors and greater freedom to enter and operate businesses highlighted in the extant literature. Our study thus contributes to a more complete conceptual understanding of the performance consequences of pro-market reforms in emerging economies. We also show that investment in research and development and greater investments in marketing and advertising are firm-level resources that provide a measure of protection against the erosion in sustainability of superior profits associated with pro-market reforms. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.