Jun 22: Had GAIL had the foresight to hire international talent for its gas buying and trading arm, the going could have perhaps been smoother for the gas major. 8Some of the intractable problems that GAIL is facing now could have been better answered had it hired talent with international experience. 8There would have been someone to point out that depending upon a single arbitrage model -- between the US and India -- was too risky in the first place and that it needed to have had a diversified arbitrage portfolio if it wanted to be in the global gas buying business. 8Yet others would have given the gas major a different set of advisories on whether it needed to have an LNG shipping fleet of its own. 8Still more would have provided more choices than what is available now on what to do with its LNG cargos from the US. 8The problem however is that Indian oil and gas majors do not have a policy of hiring international talent as the salary structures do not fit into the stratified system that is already in place. 8So what eventually happens is that a bright and earnest executive director or a general manage from the corporate office is put in charge of critical decisions on which the officer has little or no experience. 8There are many examples of wrong decision making. 8Responsibility is diffused in Indian public sector oil companies and there is no one there to take the blame when things go wrong. 8One of the suggestions in a recent policy paper is for oil companies to be given the freedom to hire global talent and pay a premium for it. 8Whether the government is going to follow through on the suggestion remains a moot point.