Japanese firms need to — and some are starting to — better understand the changing behavior of Indian consumers to succeed in the region’s new economic powerhouse, journalists from Indian media organizations said at a recent symposium in Tokyo.

The Indian economy rapidly decelerated over the past few years to an annual growth of 4-5 percent — compared with the 8-9 percent growth in the preceding years — amid the global slowdown and the country’s own twin deficits. Still, political stability and economic reforms will likely continue even if the 2014 general election should result in the first change of government in a decade, they said.

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